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Novels to Serve as Textbooks at CAB
April 23, 2008 - The Charles A. Beard School Board voted last week to approve a request from Knightstown High School teachers to use novels as primary textbooks for the school's language arts students.
Teacher Rachel Shepherd, chair of KHS's Language Arts Department, spoke to board members at their April 15 meeting about the move away from traditional literature textbooks. She said KHS teachers discovered last year that they were already using novels as their main resource, with the textbooks use as supplemental material.
Shepherd said that teachers were excited about the variety of novels that will be used to teach KHS students. She said she thinks this is the best decision for the students and is looking forward to getting feedback from them.
New novels that will be ordered for use at KHS include To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, 1984, The Odyssey, The Kite Runner, In Cold Blood, The Grapes of Wrath, and over 20 other selections. The school also has student copies of 16 other novels for use in classes.
According to a handout given to board members, the use of novels will also result in savings of more than $13,000. At $75 per book, it would cost about $42,000 to purchase traditional textbooks; the cost of using novels for the four grades and for electives is expected to be a little more than $28,000, plus shipping costs.
"We thought this was a better way to use the money," Shepherd said. She said that KHS still needs to get final approval for this curriculum change from the state, but added that it’s a pretty common thing for schools to do.
The school board also voted to approve a reading and language arts textbook adoption recommendation for CAB's elementary students and fifth and sixth graders at Knightstown Intermediate School. The cost of those materials is expected to be about $62,900.
(Additional news from the April 15 CAB School Board meeting will be featured in next week's Banner. - Ed.)
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