K-5 English Language Arts Curriculum
Williamson County Schools has completed the first-year implementation of its K-5 English Language Arts, ELA, curriculum, Wit and Wisdom, during the 2020-21 school year. In Tennessee, content area adoptions occur on a rotating basis, typically every six years.
ELA Texts Being Challenged
Per School Board policy 4.403 Reconsideration of Instructional Materials and Textbooks, a Reconsideration Committee has been created and is in the process of reviewing 30 texts as of July 20, 2021, that are being taught as part of the Wit and Wisdom English Language Arts curriculum in grades K-5. These specific titles have been included in the request for reconsideration submitted by representatives of a group called Moms for Liberty, Williamson County chapter. The district has heard from many other parents and community members who have shared that they are satisfied with the curriculum being taught.
Text and Materials
Text and materials used by ELA teachers are listed by grade level. Texts are used in a variety of ways including teacher read aloud, with a partner, independently, as well as entirely or abridged.
Superintendent's Report - June 24, 2021
14:46 New Laws in Place for 2021-22
20:11 Elementary English/Language Arts Curriculum
WCS Board Work Session - June 17, 2021
41:16-57:30 The Science of Reading
57:30- 02:07:47 Textbook Adoption Process
02:08:22- 03:32:30 Feedback and Adjustments for the 2021-2022 School Year
Frequently Asked Questions
July 1, 2021
Was Wit and Wisdom approved by the Tennessee Department of Education?
The curriculum content and all materials in Wit and Wisdom were approved by the Tennessee Department of Education. WCS’ adoption of Wit and Wisdom for grades K-2 was approved by the Tennessee Department of Education through an official waiver with WCS adding a systematic phonics program for K-2 that Wit and Wisdom did not include.
Does Wit and Wisdom contain critical race theory?
WCS curriculum leaders have found no efforts within Wit and Wisdom to teach critical race theory or any material that illegally teaches that an individual, by virtue of their race or sex is inherently privileged or that any individual by virtue of their race or sex bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex, etc. However, the Commissioner of Education is charged with determining any violation of this legislation and has ultimate responsibility for making that determination with all curriculum.
Are all the texts being using in elementary ELA new to WCS?
No. The majority of these texts have been used in WCS classrooms for years including titles such as Hatchet, George vs. George: The Revolutionary War as Seen from Both Sides, Ruby Bridges, Green Eggs and Ham, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, John Henry: An American Legend, Stone Soup, Zathura and The Phantom Tollbooth. Additionally, many of these titles are available to students from school libraries.
How can I find a list of books that my child will be reading in class?
Parents can access a complete list of core and supplementary texts used in Wit and Wisdom on our website.
June 28, 2021
What is the process of adopting new curriculum and the supporting textbooks/materials?
Typically, the State of Tennessee conducts content area adoptions every six years. English/Language Arts (ELA) is the most recent adoption with its first year of implementation during the 2020-21 school year.
The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) shares a selection of State-approved instructional vendors and materials for the adoption with school districts.
Williamson County Schools follows Board Policy 4.401 when adopting instructional materials from the State-approved list. A WCS textbook selection committee is created that includes teachers and parents representing all schools involved. Teacher membership is approved by the School Board. In addition, materials are made available to all teachers in the subject area to review. A series of public meetings is held for community review of materials, along with reviews by committee members and subject matter or grade level teachers. All are provided the opportunity for input into the textbook selection.
Per Board policy, the final selection is made by the Textbook Adoption Committee with the School Board approving the recommended instructional materials.
For details of last year’s ELA adoption, see the June 17 School Board work session.
Why is there a reconsideration of the Wit and Wisdom program and what is the Reconsideration Committee doing?
There has been a request to reconsider the use of Wit and Wisdom in Williamson County Schools. When such a request is made, the district follows Board Policy 4.403, Reconsideration of Instructional Materials and Textbooks. The first step for the Reconsideration Committee will be to read the material in its entirety per that policy.
What changes have been made to the elementary ELA curriculum?
As with any first year implementation of new materials, curriculum specialists have been making adjustments to the new curriculum over the past year. Some adjustments that have been made or that will be made in the future based on staff analysis include:
- Revised family tip sheets (communication that teachers sent out before each unit) to clarify and increase family awareness of upcoming content
- Created a secure Google site for fifth grade research project on Breaking Barriers module
- Introduce women’s suffrage to broaden the lens of the Civil Rights Heroes module in second grade
- Replace Woods Runner with an alternative text in fourth grade, with Wit and Wisdom rewriting 11 lessons for the district
- Complete an internal review of The River Between Us, a fifth grade text