FWCS planning for curriculum overhaul

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Fort Wayne Community Schools could begin an overhaul of its curriculum at all grade levels that would impact honors-level classes and students.

District spokeswoman Krista Stockman told NewsChannel 15 this week that the school system is preparing to rework its math and language arts curriculum at all grade levels, in order to fall in line with the state’s new Graduation Pathway requirements passed late last year. The changes, which are not totally known yet, are designed to “ensure all students are engaged in rigorous coursework,” Stockman said.

That will mean stark changes to Fort Wayne Community Schools’ honors classes.

Stockman said under the new curriculum, students can earn honors distinction through weighted grades for completing honors-level work. Teachers will offer students that “honors-level work” and determine if those students are engaged in high-level work to earn honors credit for the course, she added.

Stockman said the district will still offer Advanced Placement or dual-credit courses so students can earn college credit simultaneously.

“We expect more students will be able to take advantage of these courses with increased rigor in classes from elementary through high school,” said Stockman.

The curriculum makeover will happen over multiple years, Stockman said. They will not begin this school year, but she said some work to develop the processes will begin this summer.

It’s not clear exactly how many students would be impacted by this overhaul. It’s also not known how teachers would be forced to adapt, though Stockman said teachers would be included in the curriculum work in the near future.

Kris Corbin is a mother of two freshman honors students at Snider High School. She said her son and daughter didn’t take the news of blended classes well.

“Our students came home very freaked out asking what school am I going to go to,” she said. “Our kids are like what are we going to do, where are we going to go? They’re ready to leave and see what Leo, Woodlan, Dwenger, Concordia have to offer because they’re worried Fort Wayne Community Schools is going to leave them behind.”

Corbin understands the district is looking out for all its students, but she’s not sure if these blended classes is the way to do it.

“When they said they need to teach to all students, well my child as an honors student is part of that ‘all.'” she explained. “So I want to make sure my child is also being thought about when they’re bringing the other children up. I want to make sure my child is not being brought down.”

The district has refused to provide further information about the planned curriculum overhaul.

With more questions than answers at this point, clarity could come soon: the Fort Wayne Community Schools board might hear a presentation on the potential overhaul by Dr. Wendy Robinson as early as next week, Stockman said.