HPISD Trustees: Begin Adoption Process for Reading, Writing Materials

Nearly a month after a subcommittee of the Highland Park ISD board of trustees recommended doing so, it’s official; the district will ‘phase out’ the Units of Study instructional materials for teaching reading and writing in kindergarten-eighth grade.

The full Highland Park ISD board of trustees voted April 19 to approve starting the process of adopting new K-8 instructional materials to replace the Units of Study materials published by Heinemann.

“There’s a tension here – trying to get it done as quickly as possible, but also being wise and methodical and purposeful about it,” trustee Maryjane Bonfield, who served on the district’s education services ELA subcommittee with fellow trustees Bryce Benson and Stacy Kelly along with HPISD Assistant Superintendent for Education Services Lisa Wilson and Superintendent Tom Trigg, said. 

“In order to be best equipped, it does take professional development so that our staff, who are the most important interface with our students, will basically be equipped to move forward,” Kelly added.

Kelly said the district is working to hire a consultant to help guide it through the process.

“I think once we are able to identify the right person to help us, then we’re going to be able to move more quickly to develop a timeline,” Bonfield said.

The  State  Board of  Education calls for new instructional materials for a  subject area once members have adopted new or revised TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills), as was the case for ELA effective the 2019-2020 school year when the school board adopted the Units of Study. TEA executes an eight-year contract with publishers when new instructional materials are adopted. The eight years are often referred to as the adoption cycle. The process of changing the materials would be what’s referred to as a “mid-cycle” adoption process.

Watch the full meeting below:

In other news: 

  • The board approved new physical education (PE) and health materials as recommended by the student health advisory council (including parents, community members, and staff members) and the adoption committee (which consisted of various staff members). The materials included Quaver Health+PE published by Quaver Ed for grades K-5, Texas Health Skills for Middle School and companion text published by Goodheart Wilcox for 6-8, Health Skills for High School published by Goodheart Wilcox for the high school, PE Guidebook and activity cards for 6-8, and Texas Fitness and Wellness Skills published by Goodheart-Wilcox for 9-12, per the district’s website.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *