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Update on K-4 and 5-8 Committee Work
Update on K-4 and 5-8 Committee Work

At recent Board and Curriculum Committee meetings, members of the K-4 and 5-8 committees have presented updates on their ongoing work, in preparation for the new grade configurations that will go into effect in September 2022, when Black Rock Middle School opens.

For those who were unable to attend or watch these meetings, Superintendent Khalid N. Mumin, Ed.D, shares some highlights from the presentations. The work will also be discussed at the Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, Education Committee/Supplemental Board meeting. That meeting begins at 8:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the District Administration offices at 301 E. Montgomery Ave. in Ardmore. The meeting will also be viewable on the District website.

Student Supports:

  • All of the transition work is being done within a framework of supporting all students and through a lens of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
  • LMSD is implementing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) over the next five years. MTSS enables staff to provide different levels of support for each child to enhance academic, behavioral and social-emotional outcomes for all students.
  • The K-4 and 5-8 committees are looking at how intervention and enrichment activities, such as Learn and WIN time, clubs and activities are incorporated into school culture and schedules to provide opportunities for all students to participate and, we hope, find their passion and voice.

Schedules:

  • The 5-8 Committee has been reviewing several options for middle school schedules, which may be different for the "Lower House" (grades 5/6) and the "Upper House" (grades 7/8).
    • Priorities include Teaming; flexibility; extended time for math and English; including science, social studies and world language in core instruction; staff collaboration time; and supports for intervention, enrichment, social emotional learning, wellness and equity.
  • The K-4 Committee is also beginning the process of reviewing elementary schedules to support a transition to K-4 Problem-Based Learning.

World Language Program:

  • The committees are reimagining the District's World Language program, to allow students more choice in the language they will pursue and to enable all students to begin high school at Level 3 of their chosen language.
  • The FLES program (where students are only getting one period of language per week) will be discontinued in grades 1-3 in favor of an exploratory language year in Grade 4, where students will be exposed to Latin, French and Spanish.
  • Students will begin daily world language instruction in their choice of Spanish, French, or Latin in grade 5.
    • Students will end up with more minutes of world language instruction by the end of 8th grade than they have under the current program.
    • The instruction they receive in grades 5-8 will be daily, uninterrupted language instruction, which promotes greater language acquisition and learning outcomes.
  • Additional opportunities will be provided for acceleration and support throughout the years of world language.

Rites of Passage:

  • Both the K-4 and 5-8 committees have subcommittees that are working on how rites of passage, such as promotion ceremonies, traditional 5th-grade activities and end-of-year celebrations, will change.
    • Some events/activities may move with 5th graders to middle school
    • Some may become 4th grade activities, depending on what is developmentally appropriate.
  • These subcommittees will work with the HSAs who are already at work planning 4th and 5th grade events for this year.

Parents/Guardians who would like to work with the subcommittees in this area are urged to email Dr. Jennifer Gaudioso, Elementary Curriculum Director (gaudioj@lmsd.org), or Dr. Alexis McGloin, Assistant Superintendent (mcgloia@lmsd.org), as we are looking for additional parent/guardian voices in this work.

In addition to all of this work, the Administration has polled all District staff to learn their preferences for next year – whether they want to stay at current schools/grade levels or change schools or grades. And we are looking at how current buildings, especially BCMS and WVMS, can be used in new ways to support these initiatives.

As you can see, we have a lot going on in planning for an exciting 2022-2023 school year. We urge you to become involved in the process and review the presentations from Board and Committee meetings, which are available in the BoardDocs section of the District website. And you are always invited to share your thoughts with the Board during public comment or by emailing communitycomments@lmsd.org.

LMSD Superintendent Selection Announced

The LM School Board will vote on the selection of Dr. Khalid N. Mumin as the next Superintendent on Monday.

The Lower Merion Board of School Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Khalid N. Mumin as Superintendent of Schools following the upcoming retirement of Supt. Robert Copeland. The Board hopes to formally approve Dr. Mumin's appointment at a special meeting on Monday, August 23, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. that will be followed by a "meet-and-greet" so that he can be introduced to community members. Dr. Mumin will begin his service to LMSD this fall.

Dr. Mumin comes to Lower Merion from the Reading School District where he has served as Superintendent of Schools since 2014. Prior to holding that position, he was Superintendent of Caroline County Public Schools in Maryland. He has also served as Director of Elementary Education and middle school principal in the Centennial School District and as a middle school principal in New Hope-Solebury in Bucks County. Dr. Mumin began his career teaching language arts and secondary English.

Dr. Mumin grew up in Philadelphia's Logan neighborhood and received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, his Master's Degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Penn State and his Bachelor's Degree in English from Shippensburg, after earning an Associate's Degree in the Liberal Arts from Northeastern Christian Junior College, on the site where the new LMSD Middle School is under construction. He is the author of "Problem Child: Leading Students Living in Poverty Towards Infinite Possibilities of Success," a book that is part autobiography and part educational blueprint. He is married to Dr. Latrice N. Mumin

Dr. Mumin describes himself as a student-centered educator, who has a vision of success for all students and a belief that building positive relationships through cultural competencies is paramount in promoting student success. He is a change agent committed to promoting and sustaining student achievement, equity and access to educational programming for all students, as well as creating plans that are fiscally responsible. Dr. Mumin maintains a keen focus on fostering collaboration with stakeholders, including students, parents/guardians, teachers and other school staff, administrators, community members, public officials, business partners and higher education institutions.

Dr. Mumin has a documented history of success of possessing excellent leadership skills and has been recognized nationally as a "School Board Savvy Superintendent." He has also received several awards as follows: Superintendent to Watch (National School Public Relations Association, 2016), Champion for Youth (Mentors for Berks, 2017), Excellence in Educational Leadership (Boscov's, 2016), Courageous Institution Award (Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, 2017), Amigo Award (Daniel Torres Centro Hispano, 2017), Innovative School Leader (Pennsylvania School Boards Association, 2018), Jesse S. Heiges Distinguished Alumni Award (Shippensburg University, 2019) and Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year (Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, 2021).

"I look forward to joining the team at Lower Merion School District," Dr. Mumin said. "This is a vibrant community with outstanding students, families, staff members and residents. I am beyond excited to begin collaborating and building sustainable partnerships that will continue to support Lower Merion students and help them achieve infinite possibilities."

The Lower Merion Board of School Directors engaged in a comprehensive search process and interviewed numerous highly qualified candidates before selecting Dr. Mumin. Board members expressed their gratitude to the wide array of community stakeholders who shared their thoughts on what the priorities and qualifications of our next superintendent should be.

Board President Lucy Klain said, "His proven track record in areas including fiscal responsibility, educational equity and inclusion, as well as prior experience with a 5-8 middle school reconfiguration make Dr. Mumin an ideal candidate to lead our District at this time. The Board is confident he will serve our students and the wider community with the level of excellence that makes our District one of the best in the country."

In the coming months, Dr. Mumin will be hosting a variety of welcome events so that students, staff and community members may get to know him, and so that he can hear directly from members of the school community about the educational issues and concerns that are most important to them. Information about these upcoming "meet-and-greet" opportunities will be shared soon and communicated widely to Lower Merion School District families and the broader community via District email and on the District website, LMSD.org.