Selecting the best books to teach the 23,860 students of the Manteca Unified School District isn’t a snap decision nor is it inexpensive.
Teacher representatives from all of the district’s 20 elementary schools with one from every grade span — kindergarten through second grade, third through fourth grade, and sixth through eighth grade — are wrapping up committee work for the adoption of a new history/social science textbook series.
The committee recommendation will go before the board on April 17. And whatever textbook series they chose, it won’t be cheap. The tab is expected to come in at $2.5 million. And based on the budget process for the upcoming fiscal year starting July 1 will determine if there is a full or partial for the 2018-2019 school year.
Deputy Superintendent Roger Goatcher noted the process is designed to fully empower teachers in the selection process so the textbook series that best dovetails into the teaching effort in Manteca Unified classrooms will be picked.
The decision is not made lightly. The price tag and limited funds means it could be a decade or more before the next textbook series for history and social science will be adopted. The last history/social science adoption was in 2006.
The committee first met in January. At that time they received training on the history social science framework and adoption criteria.
Then in February, they heard 15-minute presentations from each of the six publishers who the state had adopted their history and social science textbook series.
While all of the publishers offer technological components, it doesn’t mean whatever text is selected will include e-books. It depends on what the committee working with teachers recommends. There are numerous considerations that are taken into account such as how a textbook series addresses English as Second Language students, how the textbook series is able to reach students of various comprehension levels for various grade spans, teacher support, as well as other nuances.
The committee members have been working with teachers at their respective schools to access the publishers’ materials for review and comment prior to voting by impacted teachers at each site. The sample materials have also been available to parents and the community through the district office.
Teaches at various elementary schools will be voting on the textbook series in early April.
The committee will then meet April. They will discuss site teacher and community input before voting on what textbook series to recommend that the board.
“It’s a thorough process,” Goatcher noted.
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