Thanks to community feedback, Leander ISD has refined its process for evaluating book club choices available for high school students. Through eight cycles of Continuous Improvement, the district’s Community Curriculum Advisory Committee (CCAC) is carefully considering title selections for English I-IV. This endeavor expands the work the high school English Language Arts (ELA) Curriculum Design Team performed last summer.

This enhanced community focus has also provided opportunities for our parents and staff to explore and connect with our new high school ELA state standards of competency known as TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills). This deep dive into curriculum design and specific literacy unit goals offers a better understanding of the expected outcomes for our high school readers. 

First Continuous Improvement Cycle

The CCAC has recently completed its first Continuous Improvement cycle. The group reviewed the English II graphic novels selected for the 2021 spring book club.

CCAC used a vetting and review criteria that included:

  • Diversity,
  • Student appeal,
  • Literary merit,
  • Alignment to curricular goals, and
  • Student navigation of topics and themes.

Leander ISD has decided to remove three titles from the English II graphic novels unit based on CCAC recommendations:

  • Kiss Number 8 by A.F. Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw
  • Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki
  • Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Myles Hyman. 

The committee also recommended the book Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson be paired with support from high school counselors regarding underage drinking, depression, bullying, and consent.

“Through this process of the Continuous Improvement cycle, we are carefully vetting each and every title with feedback from our diverse Leander ISD community,” LISD Asst. Superintendent of Curriculum Jennifer Collins said. “We applaud the committee for the engagement of our community, parents and staff. Our main focus is always what’s best for students, and I believe through this undertaking we are reaching that goal.” 

The Book Club Continuous Improvement Cycle Executive Summary includes information regarding the CCAC’s commentary and guidance for each book club title reviewed including the actions taken to reconsider titles and remove them from the 20-21 book club unit. 

Parent and educator feedback during the fall led to a comprehensive review of the book club choices adoption process, which included process improvement facilitators and a wider net of parents, teachers and staff involvement. As Continuous Improvement cycles continue, we will update our community with any revisions we make to title selections.

If you are interested in joining the CCAC process to read and provide feedback on book club titles, please reach out to Jennifer Collins