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District brings back honors reading

RANCHO SANTA FE — Plans are underway to bring back honors reading and writing courses for middle school students at R. Roger Rowe. Outgoing superintendent Lindy Delaney brought up the topic at her last official school board meeting and the board unanimously agreed on the decision.

Also at the July board meeting was incoming superintendent David Jaffe whose start date is Aug 1.

“We do have some exceptionally strong readers and writers, and I think that writing should be looked at for the following year because we separate the subject,” Delaney said. “In our writing classes, we traditionally try to keep those around 16 which is a pretty good ratio.”

Delaney noted that in these classes students are afforded more one-on-one instruction due to the class size.

As Delaney was researching the prospect of bringing honors reading and writing back to the curriculum, she really felt that it would be beneficial to the school. She also cited how middle school principal Garret Corduan was in favor of this.

Delaney conveyed to the board that if approved, they have stipend $2,000 for a sixth, seventh and eighth grade teacher to write those curriculums over the remainder of the summer break.

“So I think it is going to be a good thing for students, and we’d like to ask you to provide it,” she said.

Board president Tyler Selzter told Delaney that he thought it was a great idea and appreciated the work she did in researching the options. Seltzer believed that both he and other parents shared a similar viewpoint in that the more the district can push towards excellence with these types of instruction, the better it is for the students.

He thought expanding these advanced and honors class options were fantastic.

Delaney also interjected that the decision to do this was also discussed with Jaffe beforehand.

School board member Scott Kahn mentioned how he thought Jaffe would have additional insight being that he served as principal for Torrey Pines High School. Serving that position for the last few years, he would be aware of the needs for new students enrolling at Torrey Pines or Canyon Crest Academy and this was where many of the kids eventually branched off to.

To have the ability to really tailor the curriculum, to make sure that it gets delivered to the right kids so they really excel when they go into those schools, helps them stay a couple steps ahead, Kahn said.