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.
- 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.
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Dr. Alexis McGloin, Assistant Superintendent (email@example.com), 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.