This fall, Prairie Schools will begin teaching to higher academic standards in mathematics and English language arts. These standards are not only higher but also comparable with any other country in the world. This will bring changes, but we are ready for them. We also are excited for the opportunities these new standards bring for both our students and our community.
The new Idaho Core Standards were adopted after a state-led effort referred to as the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Through this initiative, state governors and education chiefs came together to find a solution to a common problem all states are facing today: while students are performing well academically in grades K-12, too many students are graduating from high school unprepared for the rigors of postsecondary education or the workforce. This challenge is all too real in Idaho, where just 46 percent of Idaho’s high school graduates go on to postsecondary education and, of those, nearly half must take remedial courses. At a district level, we have worked to address this challenge in several ways, and we are pleased to see it being addressed on a state level through raising academic standards in all grades.
These standards, just like standards in every other content area, are the goals the state has set for what every child should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level. Our local school district will still determine the curriculum that will be best to help teach these standards in the classroom.
All parents and community members are invited to the Prairie Junior/Senior High School this Thursday, September 5th for a presentation about what the new state standards will mean for our students. We will also address common misperceptions and answer questions. The hamburger dinner will be served at 6:00 pm, courtesy of Prairie Booster Club and the GEAR UP grant. The presentation will begin promptly at 6:30 pm. The first 50 families through the door will receive select prairie gear. Please consider joining us to assist your child as they face this more rigorous content in the next school year and beyond. It will be new and different, and we encourage every parent to stay involved and active in their child’s education!