After a two-year evaluation process, a textbook selection committee has recommended a list of new textbooks for French, Mandarin and Spanish in Piedmont schools.
The proposed list was presented to the board of the Piedmont Unified School District Wednesday night, and the district started the clock on a 30-day public display and comment period before the board's expected vote on the list May 8.
High school Spanish teacher Virginia Leskowski, who chairs the World Languages department and is coordinator of the textbook-selection process, told the board that the process began with the question of whether new textbooks were needed.
The answer was a clear yes, she said. The current books not only are worn out but also not measure up to current needs, she said.
For example, the AP criteria have changed in French and Spanish, she noted, and the current Mandarin books use only the traditional form of Chinese characters, many of which are no longer used in China. China adopted simplified characters after the Communist Party came to power.
The selection process involved the Site Council at the schools, as well as student surveys and input from staff, teachers and parents.
"A 30-day public review period of the textbook will be conducted (March 27 –May 8) with each textbook on display at the District Office," says a report for the board meeting prepared by schools Superintendent Constance Hubbard and Randall Booker, assistant superintendent for educational services.
"Comment cards and a sign-in sheet will be available for the public in the District Office. Any public comment received will be addressed as part of the recommendations atthe May 8, 2013 PUSD Board of Education Meeting."
The agenda for the board meeting Wednesday gave a different deadline for the comment period, saying, "After the 30-day display and comment period (March 27-April 24, 2013), a recommendation to adopt the textbooks will be brought for action at the May 8, 2013 Board meeting."
The agenda identified the proposed textbooks:
- Huan Ying I (Mandarin A - 7th grade, Mandarin B-C - 8th grade Mandarin I - 9th/10th grades)
- Bien Dit I (French A - 7th grade, French B-C - 8th grade, French I - grades 9/10)
- Bien Dit II (French II - grades 9/10)
- Bien Dit III (French III - grades 10/11/12)
- Quant a moi (French IV - grades 10/11/12)
- Asi se dice (Spanish A - 7th grade, Spanish B-C - 8th grade)
- Avancemos (Spanish I, II, III - grades 9-12)
- Conexiones (Spanish IV - grades 10/11/12)
- Temas (Spanish AP - grades 10/11/12)
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