English curriculum changes coming 2024-25

Hayley Gassick Feature Editor

Seven members of the English curriculum team at Bellevue East have been writing up plans to meet new state standards since August 2022. According to the Nebraska Department of Education in the Nebraska’s College and Career Ready Standards for English Language Arts Revision Overview this happens on a reoccurring basis.

“Nebraska Revised Statute 79-760.01 requires the State Board of Education to ‘develop a plan to review and update standards for reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies’ every seven years.

According to the Nebraska Department of Education recommendations were made for revision. Such as re-organization of writing strands, language revisions, embedding of literacies, and re-categorization of speaking and listening. Bellevue East curriculum team members focused in on re-organization of writing strands by focusing on skills vs product.

“Students will focus on research skills at the 9th and 10th grade level rather than doing a full research project,” English department chair Brenda Nelson said.

English cirriculum is changing in the coming years. English teacher Carla Palo is shown assisting students. Photo by Grace Walter

Bellevue East curriculum team members also focused in on re-categorization of speaking and listening. This was a revised recommendation to prepare high school graduates entering the workforce.

“The new curriculum will focus on giving students more choices in the classroom and engaging students in the world we are currently living in,” English instructor Laura Messier said.

Additionally, juniors will be given the opportunity to take two English electives in place of a traditional English 11 class. Some ideas are young adult literature, sports in literature, and literature of war.

“As part of the English curriculum changes being discussed, new elective options have been offered to replace the general English 11/12 classes,” English teacher Nathaniel Steel said “There’s a lot that we’re still trying to work through in order to get this approved, so nothing is set in stone yet.” 

These changes will be implemented in the 2024-2025 school year. Messier is excited for these changes and even has hopeful expectations of them.

“I think these changes will be positive for both students and teachers,” Messier said “It is my hope that students will be excited about English class and that they will learn skills to prepare them for life outside of high school.”