Upsala School Board approves new math curriculum to meet Common Core standards

by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer


The Upsala School Board approved the purchase of a new math curriculum for grades K – 4, April 24. The McGraw-Hill curriculum “My Math” will be purchased as a five-year subscription package which includes teacher guides, workbooks and numerous online resources.

“We were concerned mainly with our obligation to meet Minnesota education standards,” said Upsala Dean of Students Vern Capelle. “We were also looking for a resource that would include the Common Core. It’s our feeling that Minnesota will move toward Common Core standards in the near future.”

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort that established a single set of clear educational standards for K – 12 in English language arts and mathematics. States can choose whether to adopt the standards.

Minnesota is one of only five states and two territories which have not yet adopted the Common Core standards. The others are Alaska, Nebraska, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rice, Texas and Virginia.

States across the country collaborated with teachers, researchers and leading experts to design and develop the Common Core State Standards, according to Each state independently made the decision to adopt the Common Core State Standards, beginning in 2010. The federal government was not involved in the development of the standards. Local teachers, principals, and superintendents lead the implementation of the Common Core.

The K – 4 package purchase price is $19,329.45. Quotes for grade 5 – 10 math curriculums had not been received prior to the board meeting. Materials for grades 11 – 12 are mainly college textbooks for electives.

The five-year subscription was purchased due to the consumable nature of much of the materials, with students needing new workbooks each year.


Other business coming before the Upsala School Board April 24, included:

• Learning that teachers did not approve the memorandum of understanding setting snow make-up days as approved by the Board in March. “Their inservice day will be at the end of this year,” said Supt. Gery Arndt;

• Approving the most recent calendar update, with snow make-up days for students on May 28, 29, 30 and 31. Teacher inservice days are June 3 and 4, with an optional day June 5;

• Authorizing the administration to hire four summer youth custodians at 32 hours per week each;

• Accepting donations from the Upsala Lions for $3,000 for football uniforms; $60 from the Upsala Lions for baseballs and $200 from Resurrected Artists for the Drama Club;

• Approving a resolution for the annual membership in the Minnesota State High School League;

• Approving a contract for part-time adjutant college instructor Dave Piasecki at $10,000 with no seniority or benefit package. “He will teach a world history course each semester for the ‘College in the Schools’ program,” said Dean of Students Vern Capelle. “Students will earn credits for dual enrollment.” “We are the host district and will receive revenues from students in other districts who elect to take this course,” said Arndt; and

• Approving John Fuchs and Brady Burgraff as volunteers for the boys baseball team for the 2012-2013 season.

The next regularly scheduled Upsala School Board meeting will be Wednesday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school media center.