Teachers Lead NB Middle School Redesign
After previous middle school redesign plans in New Bedford failed to gain teacher support, district officials are putting the teachers in charge.
At Monday night’s School Committee meeting, teacher groups from each New Bedford middle school presented preliminary plans expected to be finalized and implemented for next school year.
While each school’s plan was slightly different, all three groups included ideas to improve classroom atmosphere and boost grades.
Roosevelt principal Dan Bossolt said to expect seeing more technology, better grades, and more student smiles next year.
“We know, even though plans might look different, it is all about the students and we need to redesign our schools to meet their needs. To reengage our students and reinstill their sense of pride in each school,” Bossolt said.
Responsive student scheduling was a major issue with the teachers’ redesign ideas. Teacher leaders said the “one size fits all” approach doesn’t meet the needs of all students. Each student is expected to have a more personalized schedule based on their progress. That means some students might have an intervention courses for help in literacy or math instead of an elective.
Teachers also hope to receive technology upgrades in phases to better prepare students for the future. This includes Promethean boards, document cameras, and laptop carts for classrooms to shift toward blended learning.
Normandin principal Stephen Farrell said the redesign will also aim to connect schools with the community. This includes promoting student volunteerism, parent involvement, and opening the door to higher education.
The teacher redesign teams have been meeting for five weeks, with each school team collaborating together on ideas.
The redesign will require contract negotiations for middle school teachers, however discussions can’t begin until plans are finalized.