If you've been a part of RSU 2 over the last couple of years, you may have heard about our district mission to "cultivate hope in all learners". But what does that mean for our students? And what is Marcia Buker doing to implement this mission? There is a great deal of planning that goes into cultivating hope, and if you're looking for information about the overall design of schools in our system, you can find it here. Essentially though, what we here at MBES are focusing on this year are five basic tenets:
- Classroom culture that encourages learner agency (independence, initiative)
- Clear targets (topics) in a good progression
- Gathering evidence to provide feedback to the target (topic)
- Learners engaged in learning that is in their zone of proximal development (learning the material they are ready for) and interest
- Learning is applied and not simply tested.
So in an effort to address these tenets, Marcia Buker is taking action in two distinct areas: Continuous flexible grouping and goal setting.
Continuous flexible grouping (CFG) is a system where students are grouped together based on the material that they are ready to learn. The members of each group may come from a student's own classroom, a different classroom in the same grade, or even from a classroom in an entirely different grade. The most important part being that a student is learning exactly what they need to learn, when they need to learn it, and with students who have the same needs. Then, as students learn at many different paces and are ready for different topics at different times, the groups naturally and regularly change to address these evolving needs. This process will not only custom fit the teaching and learning for each child, it will also promote independence and initiative as students communicate their needs with the teacher and take part in the discussion of their education.
Research shows that students who practice regular goal setting show improvement in their academic performance. This year, all MBES students will use goal setting as an integral part of their learning. Goals will be set, evaluated, and adjusted throughout the year and they will be used as a tool to inform the CGF. This culture of using goals to drive instruction empowers students and it also adds a level of transparency in their education for not only themselves but for the teachers and parents as well.
The MBES website is the place to go for news and information regarding the school and its students. Check back each month for updates about RSU 2's mission to cultivate hope in all learners.
As always, if you have any thoughts, concerns, or questions, feel free to contact Principal Tom McKee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 737-4748.