Curriculum committee will need to be revamped

How will a review of the Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 curriculum be conducted? Most of that has yet to be decid­ed, according to Jim Parr, executive director of academic student services for the district.

“We haven’t really established the crite­ria,” Parr told the Four Corners Free Press in a phone interview.

A committee consisting of concerned community members has been in place for a couple of months and has met twice, Parr said. They have been expressing their views on the current curriculum, he said, but the committee didn’t have the authority to make decisions.

Now, following the decision of the school board to pass a resolution opposing the principles of critical race theory, the com­mittee is to be reorganized and more for­mally established.

“I may reinvite some of the folks from the first committee,” Parr said, “but also reach a broader audience if possible.”

The committee’s size has yet to be decid­ed. Parr said initially they were thinking of having a group of nine to 10, as smaller commit­tees are general­ly more effec­tive, but in order to make it more representative of the demograph­ics of the district, there may be 15 or more people.

The committee at this point will simply be looking at the curriculum at the elementary and middle-schools levels, not in the high school, he said.

“We don’t necessarily know we’re chang­ing the curriculum at this time. That would be up to our school board.”

A thorough review of the entire curricu­lum in the elementary and middle schools – if that is what is indeed undertaken – will take a great amount of time, he said.

The current materials in the K-5 levels have been in use for a full year, following a review and the selection of those materials, which were available for public viewing and were approved by the school board.

This is the first year that the cur­rent English lan­guage-arts program has been used in the Cortez Middle School. It was ap­proved last May, Parr said.

The ELA curriculum is “huge” com­pared to some other programs in the middle school, he said.

Curricula are generally reviewed every five or so years.

“Regardless of what happens with the materials we are currently using, I anticipate convening a community curriculum review committee in the future,” he said. “We want to hear the voices and thoughts of the peo­ple we are serving.”

From October 2021.