Albemarle County School Board Approves New Reading Curriculum for the 2024-25 School Year

Albemarle County School Board Approves New Reading Curriculum for the 2024-25 School Year


(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia)—At its meeting last week, the Albemarle County School Board approved a new reading curriculum for its kindergarten through fifth-grade students. The new program, HMH Into Reading Virginia, will be implemented in Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) in time for the 2024-25 school year.

This decision follows the January recommendation of an adoption committee made up of more than 60 ACPS teachers, administrators, academic coaches, parents, and community partners from across the school division with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

The committee spent months vetting each curriculum option, all of which were preapproved by the state, according to its quality, relevance and fit. HMH Into Reading Virginia ultimately rose to the top thanks to feedback from families and teachers suggesting that it was the most inclusive option and offered the strongest home and school partnership materials. They also cited the ease with which the program could be utilized by teachers to help students develop such skills as language comprehension, word recognition, and vocabulary, among others.

According to Dr. Chandra Hayes, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, the next steps for this process will include a major focus on professional learning for elementary-level teachers, teacher assistants, and administrators. “We know that a new reading curriculum cannot move the needle on closing achievement gaps without the proper implementation. That means, in large part, providing our elementary staff with all of the necessary tools to present this new material to their students. We are preparing for a rigorous introduction of HMH Into Reading Virginia to our educators starting this spring, and we will offer continuing professional development throughout the summer and the 2024-25 school year to support our staff,” Hayes said.

Beyond the state requirement for choosing a new reading curriculum, ACPS will implement HMH Into Reading Virginia with achievement gaps in mind. The division’s most recent Standards of Learning tests yielded an overall pass rate in reading for the division of 74%, slightly above the state average, with lower pass rates for Black and Hispanic students, students with disabilities, students from economically disadvantaged homes, and English Learners.

ACPS is in the process of procuring all programmatic materials and related professional learning materials. Those will be delivered for instructional staff in time to prepare for the 2024-25 school year.

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