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Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Dr. Jack Silva and Secondary Teach and Learning Administrator Maureen Leeson tackled public questions about what they do at the Oct. 11 school board meeting.

Silva also addressed those still confused about the role of critical race theory in high schools and explained that it is not a type of education but rather a college research framework developed after the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

A simplistic view of this is it provides an accurate depiction of history, allowing students to review the facts and come to their own conclusion. He explained that the BASD has always encouraged critical thinking and is on board for following the U.S. pacing guide for revisions to the history of race and discrimination.

American history can then reflect both the triumphs and tragedies. Board member Winston Alozie suggested including local history in a “what happened here” approach to learning. He also asked how seasoned teachers will be instructed in implementing new teaching materials.

Silva said, “We will support teachers by providing in-service training as well as professional development events.”

In addition to these changes, the Social Emotional Health Learning services will provide a three-tiered approach of supports. Reports indicate that 38 percent of 6th-12th grade students report feeling depressed and more are conscious of their health since COVID. Tier I can be applied to everyone and utilizes the Leader in Me program, as well as trauma informed practices. This tier is mostly restorative. Tier 2 is more intensive and involves small groups of children. Tier 3 is the most intensive and most individualized.

Tier 2 and 3 include community partners. Behavioral and social actions are learned skills and early intervention can help redirect and support positive future behaviors.