District Priority 3

District Priority 3

ALL STUDENTS LEARN AND GROW WITHIN ADAPTABLE ENVIRONMENTS

 

The district prioritizes flexible spaces and schedules to promote learning objectives. District Priority 3 also looks to complement instruction with learning beyond the classroom and in partnership with families.

 

 

Classroom Schedule Realignment

During the 2021-2022 school year, we aimed to identify school schedules that maximize our students' learning experiences. The elementary schools experimented with a schedule that included an intervention block - a thirty minute period for working with students as needed for remediation, extension, or practice with a focus on math and/or literacy. At High Rock School, an Independent Reading Block was built into the schedule. In addition, we are examining opportunities for outdoor breaks, which were initially mask breaks, as a scheduling option.

 

At times, schools identified work-arounds to address scheduling opportunities. For example, we realigned classroom schedules to accommodate Elementary Arts Integration programs so that students were engaged in a creative process connecting art and another subject area, and met the objectives for both. With this kind of flexibility in scheduling, we provide new ways for students to demonstrate their learning. We also bring aspects of Portrait of A Needham Graduate to life, preparing students to be creative thinkers and problem solvers.

 

Outdoor Programs and Field Trips

With the easing of COVID restrictions, the district resumed some of our students' field trips, including opportunities to see performers and artists from diverse cultures. We also expanded curriculum enrichment with programs held outdoors such as Chalk It Up at the high school, where students showcased their creativity on the concrete. At Sunita Williams, teachers enhanced their social studies lesson on map skills with an outdoor series of checkpoints for students to use in determining where they need to go and how to get there.

 

Family & Community Engagement

Crucial during the 2021-2022 school year was family and community engagement in the implementation of an adapted school reopening plan and new health protocols that allowed the schools to remain open. As the year progressed, the district provided opportunities for two-way communication through Open Houses, Zoom

meetings, Parent University, family programs, curriculum meetings, the REAL Coalition, and PTC partnerships. A Memorandum of Understanding with Needham Police outlines how we will engage students, staff, and families in addressing safety within the community.

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