Spelling bee not to be any more
JANESVILLE The citywide spelling bee has come to an end.
The Janesville School District won’t be holding the event any more, curriculum coordinator Julie DeCook told The Gazette.
The district last month said it was “evolving from the tradition of the citywide spelling bee.”
Officials left the door open, however. They asked parents who want their children to compete in a bee to send the district an email so they could gauge interest.
The district gave parents 10 days to respond. Eleven parents did, DeCook said.
A majority of the parents were from the Challenge Program for gifted students at Roosevelt Elementary School, DeCook said, so officials will organize a bee at Roosevelt.
It’s still not clear whether there will be any bees at other schools this fall, DeCook said. The deadline to register the bees with the national bee is coming up later this month.
Winners from individual schools still could compete at the regional bee, where they could qualify for the state bee and, if they win, compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, DeCook said.
Bees will be held at the school level in years to come if parents express enough interest at those schools, DeCook said.
District officials said they decided to move away from a spelling bee because state tests emphasize reading and writing but not spelling.
Spelling still will be taught, officials said, but the district will shift resources to “higher rigor and preparation of students to be college and career ready,” according a statement issued last month.
“College and career readiness standards require students to articulate complex ideas, support positions with evidence and use communication skills for authentic purposes,” the statement said.
The citywide bee had been held for many decades. It included both public and private elementary and middle schools.