UPDATE: Floyd County Schools discontinues controversial curriculum

UPDATE POSTED SEPTEMBER 24, 2021 AT 6:18 P.M.

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Floyd County Schools have discontinued a controversial curriculum.

During a special-called board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 23, the school board addressed concerns that had been raised regarding the English Language Arts Curriculum from the  Great Minds Company known as ‘Wit and Wisdom.’

The board ultimately decided to discontinue the curriculum altogether.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 AT 12:08 P.M.

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Floyd County School District is reviewing some reading material in its elementary and middle school curriculums after receiving complaints from parents.

Superintendent Anna Shepherd said the district received a concern Sept. 16 about some content in the district’s ‘Wit and Wisdom’ that is used by all the district’s K-8 schools.

“At that time, our central office instructional team began investigating the concern and meeting with representatives from Wit & Wisdom. In summary, some of the text, which is part of the included materials with the curriculum, was considered inappropriate,” Shepherd said. “First and foremost, we want parents to understand that our teachers and administrators as well as our board members do not advocate using any material that is inappropriate for children. Our focus with this and any reading curriculum is the standards and the skills that students must master to become better readers.

“Secondly, we want everyone to know that we are addressing this issue and can assure everyone that nothing in this curriculum will be taught until it has been reviewed. The company has said they will provide substitution texts that can be used for any we deem inappropriate.”

“Our goal was to find and provide a rigorous reading curriculum that will help our students be better readers with material that is at appropriate reading difficulty levels. We still believe in the structure of this curriculum and much of the text will not be seen as inappropriate. We have had principals tell us that they have witnessed some of the best reading lessons they have seen using this new curriculum, and of course, none of the material they saw was inappropriate,” Shepherd continued.

The superintendent said the district is going forward with the curriculum and will substitute any inappropriate texts.

“As we do not teach the text but rather the standard and the skills, we can substitute the text with other rigorous text. And we have a plan to review all materials,” she said.

Each school in the district will form committees of teachers, administrators and parents to review materials and “nothing will be taught or introduced to our students before it
is reviewed.”

The curriculum also will be showcased at upcoming open houses for parents to be able to review.

“We began addressing this concern immediately and want our parents to know that we will not share inappropriate material with your children. Your children are our kids too
and we love them and only want what’s best. We are glad this concern was brought to our attention as we now have a process in place and more awareness of the possibility of questionable content,” Shepherd concluded.

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