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Educators sought to help develop ND academic standards in four disciplines

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction is soliciting help from educators across the state in rewriting standards for science, health, the arts and early learning.

The new standards will affect grades K-12, as well as pre-K for early learning guidelines. These instructional standards haven't been reviewed in several years, including health standards that are nearly a decade old. Earlier this year, DPI approved new math and English standards.

Later, the Department of Public will be looking for state residents to help in reviewing the standards the educators develop.

The department is updating standards for the four disciplines, a task that is expected to last until fall. The standards are benchmarks for what students are expected to know and be able to do as they progress through elementary, middle and high school.

The process will include the drafting of new standards by North Dakota teachers for the four areas. The arts discipline includes dance, drama, music, and visual arts.

Independent reviews of each set of proposed standards by separate committees of North Dakota residents will then be done, with time for general public comment.

Baesler is asking for teachers who specialize in science, health, the arts or early learning to apply to serve on one of the four content committees that will draft standards for each discipline. Applications for the positions are on the NDDPI website.

"Content specialists should have a demonstrated command of their content, have an interest or experience in standards writing, work well within a team setting, and be committed throughout the project," Baesler said.

Rob Bauer, assessment director for the NDDPI, said applications from teachers who wish to serve on any of the content standards development committees are due by 3 p.m. Dec. 12. They must be submitted by mail or email to the person in charge of standards development for each discipline. They are:

Science: Patricia Laubach, email, phone 701-328-4525

Health: Deb Pilon, email, phone 701-328-2753

Arts: Ann Ellefson, email, phone 701-328-2488

Early Learning: Tara Fuhrer, email, phone 701-328-4646

Bauer said committee members will be paid a professional fee plus per diem. School districts and early learning programs will get substitute teacher pay, if applicable.

In late January, NDDPI will begin seeking applications for each of the independent citizen committees to review and comment on the draft standards. The independent citizen committees will start their work in late spring, when the standards writing committees finish the first drafts of their work.

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