Schools hungry for textbooks
By KIPP ROBERTSON
North Kitsap Herald Education/Sports Reporter
November 11, 2010 · 4:03 PM
A need for new textbooks surfaced in North Kitsap schools this fall when administrators asked schools to provide textbook wish lists.
Director of Secondary Education Aaron Leavell sent the request to the principals. What he got back was a list filled with both wants and needs.
“We’re currently in the process of working on all the requests,” Leavell said. “The focus is what the student’s needs are in the realm of textbooks.”
The largest need for textbooks is in the areas of social studies and science, especially at the middle school level, Leavell said. Some schools have enough books for classroom work, but not enough for students to take home.
Leavell has not finished compiling the requests, but he said the district will handle the issue as soon as the extent of the problem is known. He does not know how much the requests will cost the district yet.
A combination of students misplacing the books or the books falling apart from use are the main reasons for this shortage.
Poulsbo Middle School Principal Matthew Vandeleur said the problem will have to be solved at the district level.
“It is a purchasing issue,” Vandeleur said. “It’s not really something we can handle immediately.”
Vandeleur said Poulsbo Middle School is able to provide enough math and English books for students to take home, but textbooks in other subjects are limited to classroom use.
As a whole, he said the school is in good shape when it comes to books. In the future, he said he would like to see the district use online textbooks which allow students access to material anytime they need it and are cheaper than printed versions.
“It’s amazing how so little can cost so much,” Vandeleur said, referring to the cost of textbooks.
The North Kitsap School District is working to adopt online textbooks for elementary science. Other districts, including the Central Kitsap School District, are already using web-based textbooks for a variety of subjects.
For kindergarten through grade 12, the district offers online math textbooks, which come with additional tutorial materials.
“It’s convenient for the kids, they don’t have to tote their books back and forth,” said Central Kitsap Secondary Mathematics Curriculum Specialist Ellen Kraft.
The online math materials were an additional bonus when the district purchased new math books, but Kraft said it’s an added benefit for everyone involved.
Online accessories such as calculators and worksheets are some of the benefits of going online.
The online material is also available to substitute teachers and parents. Kraft said about 50 percent of her students use the online material right now, which is not required.
“This is really the future of education,” Kraft said.Contact North Kitsap Herald Education/Sports Reporter Kipp Robertson at email@example.com or (360) 779-4464.