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Welcome to the 2013-14 school year at Mexico Academy and Central School District! I anticipate that this coming school season will be filled with triumphs and challenges that will keep our students on the path toward career and college-readiness. This year, we will continue to emphasize the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS). The CCLS are important because they create clear expectations for what our students should know and be able to do in the key areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and mathematics. If we, as a community, are familiar with these expectations then we will be better able to work with our schools and ensure student success.
Since we have adopted the CCLS, our students in the Mexico Academy and Central Schools have experienced several important changes to previous learning standards - These changes are called shifts. Shifts in English Language Arts instruction will focus student work on the careful reading of non-fiction text and will emphasize more frequent writing that uses supporting evidence. Shifts in math instruction will narrow the overall scope of concepts while emphasizing deeper understanding of those concepts. Student work in math will focus on skill building, speed, accuracy, and the use of real world examples to better understand concepts.
The new standards are important to our students since they will prepare them for success in college and the workforce. To this end, we all have a role to play toward helping our students become career and college-ready. If you have school-aged children living in your home, here are some tips to help them be more successful in school: 1) read with them – especially nonfiction, 2) review and discuss their homework, 3) communicate with their teachers, 4) attend public meetings to learn more, 5) learn about the standards and how they affect your children’s education, and 6) look through your children’s backpacks each afternoon.
I encourage all parents and community members to get involved and stay involved throughout the school year. Our administrative team is available to address any questions you may have about our school district. Our collaborative efforts and partnerships will ensure that our children succeed and reach their full potential.
Robert R. Pritchard, Ed.D