Changes to Social Studies at N. Boone Middle School

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POPLAR GROVE (WIFR) -- There is some confusion and concern regarding a social studies program in the North Boone School District. The middle school will change the way it teaches social studies.

Social studies in 7th and 8th grade is going to look different at North Boone Middle School. Social studies concepts will be combined with Reading and Language Arts in the same class, to better align with new teaching standards.

"There's a greater emphasis on non-fiction text and so that lends itself to the social studies and sciences. It makes more sense conceptually to teach literacy as a whole thing and not that reading is separate from writing that's separate from textual evidence," said North Boone Middle School Principal Lindsay Abbeduto.

North Boone parent Joe Haverly is also a college professor. He believes combining several subjects into one class could be difficult for educators.

"As a teacher I realize just teaching biology in a 50-minute biology class is tough, so if they asked me to teach biology and chemistry, I'd have a very difficult time doing that," says Haverly.

The plan also means going from five, 50-minute classes to four, hour-long classes. The change is expected to happen in the Fall. The district says it will share the plan with the community once it's fully developed.

But Haverly says, "As a parent, as a taxpayer I say what? This is a done deal? Where is the democracy where is the idea that everybody is on board that teachers are on board, that the parents are on board?"

There will also be an additional 30 minutes a day for what the school calls RtI, Response to Intervention, or enrichment. That time could be used for more social studies teaching, but not for students who need intervention.

The district says if you have concerns about the plan you can contact them directly. You can contact Mrs. Abbeduto at 815-765-9274 for questions about the schedule next year. For questions about the social studies curriculum, you can contact Superintendent Dr. Baule at 815-765-3322.

Two middle school social studies teachers will be moved to other positions since there won't be just a social studies class. This combined class is already being taught in 5th and 6th grade.

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