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Dora Erickson Elementary revamps curriculum

Three significant changes are coming to Dora Erickson Elementary in Idaho Falls this school year.

So what can the parents and students expect in the year ahead? It’s about learning the necessities in life that can make you a future leader in society.

“Every student is worth more than just a test score,” said Dave Webster, a school counselor at Dora Erickson Elementary in Idaho Falls.

Prinicipal John Murdoch and counselor Dave Webster are very passionate educators at Dora Erickson Elementary. But with low test scores, they realized the school’s teaching methods needed to be revamped.

Murdoch and Webster visited schools in Salt Lake City that implement the program “The Leader In Me.” It teaches students to be a leader, to own their education and strive to learn.

“The bigger part is teaching the kids the habits, the interpersonal skills, how to relate with problems, and how to problem solve. You know when something doesn’t go their way, how do you react? How do you internalize that and make an appropriate response,” said Murdoch.

And a whole new cirriculum is planned. Days will be longer at Dora Erickson as school will last from 8a.m. to 3p.m.

In addition, the school will add an extra reading block, to help focus on areas where students need improvement.

“We’re going to do the same things in math. And then we have another 60-minute independent block of writing.”

What students may consider the biggest change is the new uniform dress code.

Murdoch said: “Why are they picking on me because my clothes are different or where I bought them. We’re trying to eliminate that and making it a level playing field where were all professionals. We work hard, we’re a team, we work together, we support each other.”

And hanging proudly on the wall of Dora Erickson Elementary is the “7 Habits Tree,” the guidelines teachers will use to promote the desire to learn and be a leader in their classroom.

Principal Murdoch says the uniforms may be less expensive to purchase than the normal back to school clothes.

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