Q: What is the process for selecting and reviewing textbooks and other curricula resources?
A: All instructional resources purchased for classroom-based whole-group instruction go through a thorough vetting process that includes a review by a committee of content specialists, a positive recommendation by the Curriculum Council, and a review period in which resources are available for the public examination, and final approval by the Board. This process is established by Review and Selection of Textbooks and Media Resources Procedure (INS-SCH-PR-016).
Q. Will the 2022-23 calendar include ½ days (or early-release days)? And what exactly do staff do these days?
A: Next year’s approved calendar consists of eight early dismissal days for students. Two days provide teachers with contractually
obligated individual planning time, three days are for professional development opportunities, and the final three days are the last three
days of the school year.
Q: How do teachers determine what to teach?
A: The Maryland State Board of Education approves content standards for K-12 courses. In addition, MSDE committees, which include
content experts from across the state, then develop curriculum frameworks and instructional resources for use by local school
systems. WCPS content-area supervisors, in collaboration with master teachers from within our system, in turn, develop guides for
each course and select the most appropriate instructional resources that support student learning. As curriculum guides are developed
or significantly revised, they are presented to Curriculum Council and approved by the Board of Education.
Q: Why are we still using computers/how do we balance with traditional learning?
A: While virtual learning brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the use of computers for daily instruction, the need for these
tools did not go away when students returned to classrooms for in-person instruction. Our one-to-one laptop initiative provides students
with access to a wealth of resources beyond traditional printed text and practical experience to support them in further K-12 study,
college, and career. That said, the use of technology should be balanced with one-on-one, small group, and whole-group discussion,
hands-on activities, individual work, and traditional direct instruction. Computers are just one more tool to add to the resources
available to our students and highly-qualified teachers.
Q: What is the current research on homework?
A: Research regarding homework is varied, with some studies pointing out the benefits of extra practice and extensions of topics learned
in the classroom, while other findings explain that many students are stressed out, and homework causes them to miss out on valuable
family time and after-school activities. Another concern highlighted by some is the potential negative impact of practicing skills at home
without clearly understanding a topic. This could result in the unintentional reinforcement of incorrect understandings. Most all agree
that when given, the amount of homework must be appropriate to the student's age and should build from topics previously introduced
in the classroom. The Instructional Leadership Team and administration often make decisions regarding homework guidelines at each
school. In addition, homework has sometimes been used as a vehicle for informing parents about the work their students were
currently doing in school. We now encourage parents to join their students' Google Classrooms as this will give them an even closer
look at the day-to-day experiences of their students.
Q: How is Wicomico County Public Schools (WCPS) ensuring that students are receiving instruction in personal financial literacy?
What steps does WCPS plan to take to enhance this area of instruction?
A: WCPS exceeds state requirements in the area of personal financial literacy in partnership with Junior Achievement of the Eastern
Shore. A presentation on this topic was provided to the Wicomico County Board of Education at the February 8, 2022 public meeting.
That presentation can be found here: https://youtu.be/lhGFCt9TQmc
Q - Is there a WCBOE emergency protocol in place? Could copies be sent to parents?
A - Communication with families when emergencies occur in WCPS facilities is very important to us. However, it is important to note that securing
the building and understanding the nature and extent of the emergency must occur before information is shared. Messaging to families will
happen just as soon as possible once students and staff are safe and accurate information can be provided.
Education Article § 7-1510 stipulates requirements concerning local school system emergency plans. Specific information about response
procedures or plans to prevent or respond to emergency situations, may reveal vulnerability assessments, specific tactics, specific emergency
procedures, or specific security procedures, and therefore the release of such protocols could jeopardize the security of the respective buildings
Please note that Board policies and procedures that address some of the underlying issues in this question can be found at the following link:
https://www.wcboe.org/Page/5246. Such policies and procedures could include the following: SFS-SAF-PL 005; SFS-SAF-PR 005;
SFS-SAF-PL 008; SFS-SAF-PR 026; SFS-SAF-PL 017; SFS-SAF-PR 031; and SFS-SAF-PL 024.