Greenwich Public Schools adds ‘vetting’ to list of teacher duties, hoping to bring more uniformity to instruction

GREENWICH — To address complaints from families about the district’s curriculum, Greenwich Public Schools has been pursuing greater transparency and more uniformity throughout its classrooms, officials said.

At a recent board retreat, Board of Education members reviewed the Curriculum Council’s work over the summer and spoke about advancements made towards improved communication with families and consistency among classrooms.

The subject of a new “vetting rubric” popped into the conversation after board member Cody Kittle asked about what he considered the presence of “woke,” or socially progressive, content in the social studies curriculum.

“Do you guys talk about that at all when you’re looking at the curriculum?” he asked Gordon Beinstein, Western Middle School’s principal and co-coordinator of the district’s social studies curriculum.

“You can’t teach social studies without controversial topics; you just can’t. But it’s how the topic is represented is what is most important,” Beinstein said at the meeting on Sept. 15. “So, the purpose of that rubric is that what you put in front of kids is as unbiased as possible, and that there are multiple perspectives presented.”

The district introduced the vetting process to teachers earlier this month, a system that will check all of their materials against content standards.

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