If you picked up last week’s Valley Record, you probably saw the front page article on a newly proposed, school district policy that would establish 6th-12th grade education benchmarks and pathways for Snoqualmie Valley students planning on pursuing college at top 4-year universities. The article’s headline referred to the policy drafted by Carolyn Simpson and Geoff Doy (while working on a strategic plan as instructed by the whole board) as a “school fix.”
The proposed policy engaged a three-hour discussion at the September 13th school board meeting. Some parents were in support of such a policy, saying these pathways would gain more students admittance to top universities. Some said the policy isn’t needed as these pathways and classes are currently available at Mount Si. Others didn’t like that the policy was developed without the input of the administration and teachers.
Well, two weeks later, that proposed policy is ready for a second reading at tomorrow night’s school board meeting. Board member Carolyn Simpson says, “I see this proposed policy and the related benchmarks as an important enhancement to the great work we are already doing in our schools. To call it a fix seems to indicate that something is broken, and I don’t believe that.”
Simpson adds, “Implementing and widely communicating curriculum pathways will help our community of students, parents, and teachers to work together to ensure students have access to the coursework necessary for options after high school, including pursuing enrollment at top four-year universities if that is their choice.”
According to proposed SVSD policy 2423,”The District shall implement curriculum pathways for 6th through 12th grade in, but not limited to, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, English, and World Languages to allow all students access to the courses necessary to build the transcripts recommended for competitive application to post-high school education options, including top four-year universities. These curriculum pathways shall be widely communicated by the District to staff, parents, and students.”
The policy also states “The District shall also implement a monitoring and data system (a scorecard), that includes a set of benchmarks developed by the District and approved by the Board, to report progress in the implementation of this policy.” To read the full policy click HERE.
Mount Si junior and honor student, Kevin McLaughlin, thinks the proposed policy could enhance Mount Si science offerings for students desiring more high-level science courses earlier in their high school careers. He says the new pathways could “allow students to pursue more specialized science classes that are only available after classes like chemistry and biology.”
Currently most Mount Si students complete biology and chemistry by their junior year. Kevin hopes the proposed policy would help students (who are ready) take biology in 9th grade and chemistry in 10th grade, leaving more time in 11th and 12th grade for those specialized and AP science courses.
Seth Truscott, Valley Record Editor, weighed in on the proposed policy in today’s edition by saying “…Why shouldn’t lofty goals be, if not green-lighted, at least explored? Local students have the same potential as all Eastside pupils.”
This policy’s second reading is listed as an action item on tomorrow’s school board meeting agenda. This means the board could vote to adopt the policy tomorrow. The meeting starts at 6:30PM, Thursday, September 27th, in the District Office located at 8001 Silva Ave SE in Snoqualmie.