Frequently Asked Questions
The Washoe County School District (WCSD) Board of Trustees, administration, and staff are committed to creating conditions for learning that are inclusive and equitable for all our students.
The District is committed to providing a world-class education, where students can gain more profound knowledge and appreciation of our diverse society, gain an understanding and respect of individual and cultural differences, and obtain skills for college and career readiness. The District’s core beliefs call for a robust education system that ensures the well-being of a community, which includes designing instruction to meet the needs of every child in our diverse student population.
WCSD is seeking public input from the community on the K-5 English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum supplementary materials. To collect all the community feedback, we have provided a formalized opportunity for all interested parties to provide their input. You can find this included on the home page of the District’s website – www.washoeschools.net. To provide our community with ample time to provide feedback, we have extended the public comment period to May 3.
- Why should the District provide supplemental English Language Arts materials for K-5 classrooms?
The supplementary materials developed by Benchmark Education provide guidelines to expand and enhance the grade-level English Language Arts curriculum. Resources such as the ones created by Benchmark are tied to the texts that students are already reading as part of the English Language Arts curriculum. They contain reflective questions, are accompanied by sustained dialogue, and help teachers ensure that all student voices are heard and respected. It also helps deepen cultural understanding and knowledge about the history of our nation, which is critical to the formation of our students.
- What is the social studies curriculum that the WCSD uses?
The District’s social studies curriculum, accessible on our district website, is grounded in Nevada Academic Content Standards and focuses on the history of our country. The District provides consistent support to teachers at all grade levels that focus on grade-level standards and high-quality learning materials used in classrooms.
- Are the ELA supplementary materials for K – 5 grades aligned with the concept of Critical Race Theory?
No, the materials are not aligned with Critical Race Theory. There has been a lot of misinformation, and we want to be clear that this is false.
- What learning experiences are included in the materials?
Integrated social justice learning experiences provide opportunities for valuing human dignity, fostering cultural diversity, and building critical thinking. These are crucial skills to developing 21st-century skills, global competencies, and college and career readiness.
- How is the District preparing teachers to use these lessons?
The District’s departments of Curriculum and Instruction, Equity and Diversity, and Family-School Partnerships are working together to ensure elementary educators have the background knowledge, pedagogy, and content knowledge required to have and promote these critical collaborative conversations and experiences with Washoe County’s students.
- Why is the District adding these materials now?
Our District continually updates and provides quality supplementary materials to teachers for instructional purposes. We recently updated the math curriculum for elementary- and middle school students and provided a new ELA and science curriculum for elementary school students. These updates include ongoing professional development for teachers to ensure these materials are implemented in each classroom. Our teachers work to check for student understanding and adjust their instruction as needed consistently and often.
- Is there a cost for these lesson plans?
There is no cost for these materials since they are part of the original adoption of Benchmark Advance curriculum.
- What if I have additional questions?
Should you have additional questions specific to the supplementary materials for ELA curriculum, please submit them using this form. District staff will try to answer as many questions as possible during their presentation at the May 25 Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees.