Greetings, Thompson Community:
I hope you’re having a pleasant early spring! With about six weeks left until the end of the school year, it is a very active time here in Thompson School District. The weeks between our spring break and the end of the school year are always extremely busy with students and staff finishing up classwork and hosting a multitude of special events as we approach the last day of school.
On the academic side, students will finish their classes, and as a community, we will celebrate the Class of 2023 as they formally move on to their next chapters beyond high school. This academic achievement takes an incredible amount of hard work from everyone involved, and I wanted to share a few details about what happens in the background to help make it a reality each school year.
Along with having great teachers, we know that one of the largest impacts on student achievement is access to consistent, research-based, grade-level materials in all of our classrooms. Over the past few years, we have been able to adopt consistent materials for our elementary reading and writing courses, as well as our middle and high school math classes.
The adoption of these materials has led to great success in the district overall. This year, we completed two material recommendation processes, with the goal of having these in our classrooms beginning this fall. The process of evaluating materials and determining the best fit for our schools is extensive, and it is something that we take very seriously.
From beginning to end, it takes over a year for a formal recommendation to be advanced to our Board of Education for approval, and the process involves feedback from teachers, administrators, students, district leaders, families, and community members. The district received Board of Education approval for new materials for our elementary math curriculum. We are currently in the process of seeking Board approval for new materials for our English Language Arts curriculum in grades six through nine.
Beginning next year, we will be using an exciting program called enVision Math in our elementary schools in all classrooms. enVision Math is a widely-used resource that has shown evidence of success in surrounding school districts as well as across the state. It has been a number of years since we have adopted new math materials at the elementary level, and our belief is that this new program will support our teachers as they continue to move each of our students forward in the area of mathematics.
In addition, pending Board of Education approval, we will be using a resource called MyPerspectives in our English Language Arts classrooms in grades six through nine beginning next year. This program is used in over 2,000 school districts across the country, and it includes both online and printed materials that offer choices for teachers and students. We will support teachers using both of these programs through professional learning and through continued support throughout the year.
We are excited to continue to provide top-quality resources for our classrooms. Our material adoption process is critical to the success of each of our students, and I am so grateful to all who are working to help ensure that the process goes smoothly as we identify the resources that are the best fit for our schools. Thank you so much for your continued support.
Dr. Marc Schaffer
Thompson School District