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Middle School Literature Selection Committee

The Middle School Literature Selection Advisory Committee is reconvening this year and will continue reviewing new texts for possible inclusion in the eighth-grade English Language Arts curriculum. The first meeting of the year will be held on Tuesday, September 7, from 4:00-7:00 pm.

For a complete schedule of meetings and information about how to join, please see the district calendar.

The Middle School Literature Selection Advisory Committee is a community-based committee consisting of teachers, administrators, parents, and students, working in alignment with Board Policy 6161.1.

PAUSD last formally adopted middle school literature in 2003. The intervening years have seen the adoption of the California Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in 2010 and the release of the new California ELA/ELD Framework in 2014.  Together, the Common Core State Standards and the Framework represent a significant shift in English Language Arts/Literacy.  Notably, the Common Core emphasizes the importance of students engaging in regular practice with complex texts and academic language, grounding their reading, writing, and speaking in textual evidence, and building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction in addition to literature. 

The California Department of Education was scheduled to update its Recommended Literature List, a collection of literature for children and adolescents in PK – 12, in the 2019-20 school year.  In anticipation of this update, PAUSD formed a Literature Selection Advisory Committee in the fall of 2019 to begin reading and reviewing middle school literature.  While the COVID-19 pandemic ended up slowing down the CDE’s timeline for updating its literature list, the PAUSD Committee did not slow down its own timeline and was able to recommend two core literature texts as required reading in grades 6 and 7 to the Board of Education in the Spring of 2021.  In addition, the Committee also recommended a menu of supplemental literature for use in grades 6 and 7. 

The eighth-grade process, however, was extended by an additional school year to allow for further reading and vetting of new books and to allow for a pilot, should one be deemed necessary.  The Committee anticipates recommending two core literature texts and a menu of supplemental literature for grade 8 to the Board of Education in the Spring of 2022.  The expectation is that the core eighth-grade literature texts will be implemented beginning in the 2022-23 school year.

Thank you very much to the interested middle school parents and students who applied to be on the Literature Committee for the 2021-22 school year. The positions have been filled and the applicants have been notified.

Next Meeting

  • Continue to read, vet, and discuss core candidates
  • Finalize short list of core candidates (for October decision)
  • Review 8th-grade teacher feedback on short list
  • Review future piloting options
  • Work on supplemental menu

All Meetings

  • Share 8th-grade teacher feedback
  • Decide on core lit finalist(s) (max 3 books)
  • Determine whether pilot(s) is advisable.
    • If pilot(s) is advisable, consider pilot plans.
    • If pilot(s) is not advisable, consider how best to collect student feedback on finalist(s)
  • Work on supplemental menu
  • Continue to read, vet, and discuss core candidates
  • Finalize short list of core candidates (for October decision)
  • Review 8th-grade teacher feedback on short list
  • Review future piloting options
  • Work on supplemental menu