A committee of parents, teachers and administrators at Carmel Clay Schools have been working for more than a year to evaluate the district’s literacy programming.
At its Jan. 13 meeting, the CCS Board of Trustees heard a presentation from Assistant Supt. Amy Dudley on the committee’s research, findings and proposed changes with a focus on reflecting the diversity of the K-12 student body and more deeply engaging students in reading and writing.
“(One) recommendations is increased access to diverse voices,” Dudley said. “At all levels, students should have access to an abundance of texts that reflect their diversity. Students should be able to see their own identities in the affirmed texts they read, as well as have opportunities to read and explore identities, perspectives and experiences that are different from their own.”
“What we found in our research, the materials we currently have do not always reflect our students. Many of the materials that we have at the high school are written by 18th century white males, not texts that really identify with our student population.”
Another proposed change deals with the way students access reading materials. Dudley said in the committee’s research and through student surveying, they learned students prefer printed, paper books as well as listening to audio books.
“We want to make sure that our students, at all levels, have the opportunity for prolific reading experiences with books that they can read well and want to read,” she said. “The students need increased access to high-quality texts across a wide range of formats and genres … We also know that they are reading text online and on devices, and they’ll need to do that when they leave Carmel High School.”
Dudley said recommendations for new reading materials will be presented to the school board this spring.