WPSB introduces curriculum position

Bruce Franklin/Press-herald School Board members John Madden and Malachi Ridgel listen Monday as Superintendent Johnny Rowland Jr. explains why it is important to adopt a revised salary schedule.
Rowland

The Webster Parish School Board approved the creation of a supervisor of curriculum and instruction position and job description Monday. Dusty Rowland, currently the elementary supervisor, will step into the new position.

School board Superintendent Johnny Rowland Jr. explained the function of the new supervisor position.

“It is basically going to provide district-level, content-specific support for our administrators and our teachers,” he said.

Rowland said significant research pointed to the need for a curriculum supervisor.

“Since the start of school, the supervisory staff and myself have completed over 300 walkthrough observations in our district schools,” he said. “In addition, virtually all of our principals have had site visits from our administrative teams. Our teachers in the core subjects of math, English, science, and social studies are in need of more specific support.”

The supervisor will provide support in five key areas.

“We must ensure that our teachers are teaching the correct curriculum, using research-proven methods to deliver instruction, and delivering that instruction at an appropriate pace,” Rowland said. “We must also provide appropriate frequent assessments of this instruction and then use this data to drive the instruction in the future.”

In the spring, the curriculum supervisor will report back to the superintendent and supervisory staff with a comprehensive plan for providing this support. Rowland stressed the importance of assessment and correction as part of this plan.

“We believe in using the assessment data to formulate instruction plans put in place moving forward,” he said. “That’s why benchmark assessments are given at the beginning of the year. Mid-modular and end-of-module assessments come with the curriculum, but we have to assess more than just that. We need to be giving, in my estimation, weekly or even daily informal assessments to gauge student mastery of the material. And these assessments will not always mean formal tests; there are multiple ways to assess student growth.”

Dusty Rowland has filled the elementary supervisor role for just under a year after serving as the principal of J.L. Jones Elementary for six years. She said she is eager to work with school leadership in her new capacity.

“I’m excited about having the opportunity to help teachers and principals become more familiar with what’s necessary for student achievement,” she said.

Dusty Rowland said one of her goals is to make full use of the great knowledge many district teachers possess.

“I hope to be able to work with some of our master teachers who have a lot of content knowledge and spread that knowledge across the district so we can all be more prepared to equip students for state assessments.”

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