The Westerville City Schools’ Middle School Design Team has been meeting regularly since the 2017-18 school year to develop a program that ensures every Westerville City middle school student is actively engaged in dynamic learning experiences and environments that develop learning and life skills for academic and personal success.
In the fall, team members divided into three Action Teams, which are responsible for researching and developing recommendations related to these priority areas:
- Organization and Structure,
- Curriculum and Instruction, and
- Social Emotional Learning.
Action Teams convened and began their exploration. These key takeaways emerged as their work progressed:
Organizational Structure Action Team
The highest initial priority is teaming because it is critical for connectivity for students (people to people; across content areas; adolescent learning needs connections; increased communication and support for students, etc.).
Curriculum and Instruction Action Team
The highest initial priority is elective coursework. This team wants students to find success and be engaged in learning. Team members discussed ideas and parameters that impact the development of elective course offerings for the 2019-2020 school year. Three major categories they are examining include scheduling, scope and magnitude of implementation, and the impact on core content.
This team’s highest initial priority is the transition of 5th grade students to 6th-grade. Team members realized they must clearly define Social-Emotional Learning “SEL” and what it looks like in Westerville City Schools. This team also examined the professional learning that is necessary to support all staff in developing empathy and understanding the specific needs of students.
Action Teams will continue to research practices related to their respective priority areas and develop action plans. Additional updates will be provided as this work progresses.