B-P sets Common Core meetings

BROADALBIN – Broadalbin-Perth Central School District officials said Monday the district is keeping up with new state Common Core standards in the classroom, noting the public will get several opportunities to learn more about changes next month.

Discussion about Common Core – the state Education Department’s adopted program for curriculum changes – was one of the feature discussions at the Board of Education session this week at the high school.

Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said the district is doing what it can to keep up with the new education standards.

In July 2010, the state Board of Regents adopted Common Core standards for mathematics, English language arts, literacy in history/social studies, science and technical subjects, with the understanding additional expectations could be implemented.

Tomlinson said as the public has learned more about the higher-curriculum standards, the state-mandated Common Core has become a hot topic.

“There are several myths and non-factual information out there,” Tomlinson said. “We will be addressing some of those concerns both regionally and locally here at Broadalbin-Perth.”

Tomlinson said a regional informational session for the public interested in learning about Common Core will be conducted Nov. 4 at the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services center. The public session will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Tomlinson said the district has embraced Common Core and started teaching the various mandated materials.

“We are working through this and communicating with our teachers on a daily basis,” Tomlinson said. “Change is challenging for all of us and this is certainly a large change for all of us.”

He said the district has noticed the parents with the most to say are those that have students in the higher elementary or secondary schools because brand new students don’t have a previous model to compare with the new learning experience.

Despite the challenges Common Core brings, Tomlinson said the district fully supports the new state standards.

To further reach any of the community concerns, the district will host its own Common Core nights broken into two separate grade groupings to better address parents particular concerns, Tomlinson said. The district will host an event for parents who have children in kindergarten through fifth grade on Nov. 12, and an event for parents with children in grades six through 12 on Nov. 14. Both events will be held at the high school auditorium starting at 6 p.m.

“There has been a lot of confusion and angst about Common Core throughout the school districts, not just Broadalbin-Perth and there is a period of adjustment,” said Board President Edward Szumowski. “Students are working harder at school than they have in a long time because of the rigorous standards so the school district has to be here to talk about the reasoning behind the curriculum to address both the things that have went well and those that haven’t. We also have to hear the parents concerns and see what the community has to say.”

The district also has made parent resources related to Common Core available on its website – www.bpcsd.org.