Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Week 2 Design Team Update

Model Design Teams
Week 2 Update

During the week of January 22nd, the Experiential Education Team focused on research and site visits to other experiential programs. This group did not hold an in-person meeting but will reconvene on Thursday, February 2nd in Bethel to share what they have learned and continue their planning process.

The High School Design Team worked individually and online this week, reviewing course catalogues from several other high schools and identifying areas for further exploration. The Team agreed to focus on several key areas,that include creating teacher/student advisories and designing a schedule that increases student opportunities and provides time for student support as well as teacher collaboration. The group also plans to discuss types of schedules, guidance programs, and transitioning freshman to high school in future meetings. High School Design Team members will also meet in person on February 2nd.

Middle School Design Team members devoted their meeting time to diving deeply into the essential components of a middle-level program that they had identified previously. Discussion focused on building a strong advisory program that will include dedicated meeting times at the beginning and end of every school day. Team members also agreed that a positive school climate--one that fosters belonging, efficacy, and ownership among students--should be developed through regular community building activities. Ideas considered included service learning, public speaking, and projects about local, State, and national history for different grade levels. The group held a lengthy discussion about crafting a schedule that allows for interdisciplinary work as well as significant teacher collaboration time. Moving forward, the Team plans to meet with a representative from the Tarrant Foundation and to conduct site visits to exceptional middle school programs.  

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