Carter County School Board discusses need for new textbooks

Published 4:31 pm Friday, December 9, 2022

By Danielle Morin
Elizabethton Star
The Carter County School Board met on Thursday, Dec. 8, to discuss the need for new textbooks within Carter County Schools.
Dr. Brandon Carpenter, Carter County Schools Superintendent, told the board the six-year math adoption curriculum would cost roughly $850,000. Secondary Supervisor Danny McClain explained, “The state’s put off the math adoption several times because they were redoing the standards.” Now that those new standards have been implemented, school systems are expected to bring in new textbooks that abide by them.
Carpenter also informed the board that they will have to undergo a science adoption next year to implement new science books, with McClain explaining, “Those standards are changing as well, so they don’t have any textbooks out that will meet the new standards that are coming in.” In the meantime, Carpenter said, the school will need $75,000-85,000 to cover one year’s worth of science textbooks while waiting for the state to solidify the new science textbook standards.
Carpenter explained that the new math textbooks are important for more reasons than ensuring the students are receiving state-standard levels of education. “We have joined back with a group of districts who have basically come together, and they have the same benchmark testing,” said Carpenter, “so we need to make sure that we’re also on board with most of the other [school] systems that’s in that group, as far as what we’re using, that way our benchmarks line up. We want everybody to be on the same page, because then, at the end of the year, when you take the state test, it’s more uniformed all the way across.”
Carpenter, who called the cost a “big hit,” did tell the board that he already has plans to make funding for new textbooks in the future easier. “What we’re going to do is, once we figure out this year, we’re going to set back to where we’ll have at least half of that money to three-quarters set aside, and then we’re just looking at needing half to a quarter of it, instead of it being such a big hit all at once,” he explained.
Carter County Schools K-5 Supervisor, Betsy Oliver, assured the board that they have reviewed a number of different textbooks to make sure they are benefitting both the students and the school system. “We are trying to figure out which will be the best for our students and what we get for our money,” she said.
The Carter County School System will be hosting an event on Monday, Dec. 12, where the public can review samples of the new textbooks in question. Oliver said samples will represent several grade levels, from kindergarten through high school. Attendees will also have an opportunity to provide feedback on the samples presented. The event is open to the public, who are invited to drop in from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It will take place in the board room at the Carter County Schools Central Office at 305 Academy Street in Elizabethton.

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