Universal textbooks coming to Spokane schools in fall 2014




Posted on February 27, 2014 at 7:38 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 27 at 8:01 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Spokane Public School District made major changes to the way students develop reading skills for the first time in 25 years.

Teachers use several different books each week to help their students becomes better readers. Now, they have one book they can use all year and it meets new national standards for elementary students.

The book is called “Journeys Common Core.” It is a collection of several stories designed to strengthen reading and writing skills.

Beth Nye is a fourth grade teacher at Adams Elementary. She has taught for more than 20 years and is excited about the latest tool in her classroom.

“It’s something new, it’s long overdue, we need this for our teachers and for our students,” said Nye.

Last Spring the school district looked for a program that could meet new national standards and improve how teachers taught students in kindergarten through fifth grade. This year, six schools started the program.

“I don’t spend a lot of my time digging around for materials. The materials are there but now I have to be the one to figure out how to use them in a way to meet my student’s needs,” said Nye.

Students will have most of the materials they need in one place, but teachers say the stories will give students more of a challenge. It will also create a consistent style of teaching year to year.

New requirements also push all students to be reading at their grade level. These books make sure everyone gets the same story to read and then teachers can spend more time helping students who need the help.

The textbook program is at six schools in the district and it will expand to 32 schools in the fall.