Eaton Rapids Public Schools Uses Federal Funding For EL Education Curriculum

This news was originally published on Fox47 News on July 15, 2021.

Eaton Rapids Public Schools in Michigan announced it will allocate a portion of $2.5 million in federal relief funding to a new English language arts curriculum from Open Up Resources – EL Education K-5 Language Arts.

EL Education (available in K-8) is a nationally acclaimed, state standards-aligned program that fosters skill and knowledge acquisition through compelling science and social studies topics.

The school district’s Superintendent Bill DeFrance said the curriculum was chosen in order to develop a reading program that was more tailored to the needs of the students.

He told Fox47 News: “What we found was our kids weren’t making the progress that we would like to see on our academic performance in kindergarten through fifth grade.”

The district’s Director of Curriculum and Instructional Technology, Chris Rupp, said the students will benefit from the new curriculum by learning to balance informational text with literary text, as the units incorporate more science and social studies than the previously used curriculum. He also noted that because the curriculum is more project-based, the students will have multiple ways of demonstrating their learning.

EL Education K-5 Language Arts has embedded teacher support and structured, formative assessments to help all learners engage with grade-level, complex texts using proven strategies to help learners access those texts. The curriculum uses high-stakes testing formats that are paired with a culminating real-world performance task.

The school’s K-5 teachers have all received at least 12 hours of training in preparing for implementation of the curriculum for the 2021-22 school year.

The previous language arts program had been in place at Eaton Rapids Public Schools for six to seven years, and teachers such as 37-year kindergarten teacher, Susan Wilke, are excited to incorporate the new curriculum. “This will be new and fresh and exciting for me,” she said. 

Neighboring districts Saginaw Public Schools and Detroit Public Schools have also implemented the EL Education curriculum from Open Up Resources.

The EL Education K-8 Language Arts curriculum allows students to learn to read, think, talk and write about complex texts while also developing key social-emotional learning skills. As students dive into compelling, real-world issues, a foundation is built for forming compassionate, thoughtful citizens. 

Open Up Resources also offers a number of professional learning options for new and existing schools using the curriculum. Contact us to learn more.

Read the original article on FOX47 News website.