SALISBURY TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT
With the 2017-2018 school year coming to an end, the May 21 curriculum and technology committee meeting found its members excited for summer and beyond. As the new school year approaches, new changes were at the forefront of the night’s meeting.
Members of the committee provided updates on the schools’ shift to the Teaching and Learning 2020 initiative. The updates, provided by staff teams from each school, served as an extension of the district’s “Profile of a Graduate.”
The updates put emphasis on a district-wide transition toward project-based learning, catering to students’ individual learning styles and highlighting dispositions highlighted in the profile.
“So our next steps in the 2018-2019 school year are to continue to highlight examples of project-based learning, particularly at faculty meetings and at the sessions with teachers, to grow their capacity to implement those successfully in their own classes,” Salisbury High School Principal Heather Morningstar said of her presentation.
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Lynn Fuini-Hetten previewed a number of new summer technology camps available to students. Starting in late June, the district will offer four technology-based camps for students of all ages.
The camps, entirely free to students, allow students to get hands-on experience in flying drones, building PCs, computer coding and recording in Garageband by way of a drum circle. The camps only allow 15 participants each; students can sign up ahead of time at www.salisburysd.org/techcamps.
Summer library hours will be 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays at Salisbury Middle School, Harry S Truman Elementary School and Western Salisbury Elementary School. Evening summer library sessions, in the vein of a literary club, will also be held by Robin Burns at the high school this summer. Students are asked to pre-register for the evening sessions.
Staff from the gifted program also provided an update. The gifted staff this year was fairly new; the new personnel were brought up to speed by having training sessions, including a gifted “boot camp” for Gifted Individualized Education Plans, on how to implement gifted programs in the schools.
SHS gifted and social studies teacher Katie Miller presented new changes to the gifted program at the high school level moving forward. This includes in-depth discussions on topics like ethics, innovators and critical thinking modeled off of college seminars. She also discussed the introduction of the Advanced Placement Capstone program for juniors and seniors. The program, consisting of a seminar and research class, will allow students to think critically and research effectively.
“It’s really intended to equip students with the skills they’ll need for higher-level learning,” Miller said.
Board members expressed their pleasure at the new courses, agreeing they will help prepare students for college.
New updates to the school handbook were also discussed.
In the elementary schools, the community portal will now be used for some announcements. Additionally, the notification for students’ bus routes will now be posted online. Also, the language in all handbooks was updated to include vaping in the list of tobacco-related products not allowed in the schools.
The board is in the process of updating the middle school’s math programming. Teachers are currently trying out programs like Pearson’s enVision Math and Agile Mind among others. A decision will be made in mid-June on the new program the middle school will use.
The committee’s next meeting is scheduled 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at the administration building.