CMSD to redesign 13 kindergarten through eighth grade schools

(FOX 8 file photo)

CLEVELAND– The Cleveland Metropolitan School District announced plans on Tuesday to redesign 13 schools for kindergarten through eighth-grade students.

The changes will start for the 2018-2019 school year and will be implemented over a four-year period. The treatment is similar to those at some of CMSD’s high schools, without the focus on specific career paths, the district said in a news release on Tuesday.

“Our principals and teachers are exploring and choosing among research-based, proven instructional models that are engaging and meaningful for students,” said Angee Shaker, CMSD executive director of portfolio engagement.

“There will always be a need for direct teaching, but overusing this or any one instructional approach causes students to tune out. We know we can accomplish deeper levels of learning through multiple, interactive learning approaches that build on student strengths and passions,” Shaker said.

The three learning models are:

  • Inquiry-based learning: Students explore content by posing, investigating and answering questions. They are then able to present their findings in a credible and persuasive manner (Anton Grdina, Case, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fullerton, H. Barbara Booker, Mound, Oliver H. Perry, Sunbeam and William Rainey Harper)
  • Youth leadership development: Students are prepared to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood through activities and experiences that develop social, ethical, emotional, physical and cognitive competencies. Teachers and students measure and track progress toward self-identified student achievement goals and schoolwide goal achievement. (Alfred A. Benesch, Robert H. Jamison and Waverly)
  • Personalized learning using technology: This involves flexible, self-directed learning where teachers use project-based or competency-based learning paths to boost student achievement (Charles W. Eliot, Luis Munoz Marin)

“We want good schools with good teaching and learning based on contemporary standards to prepare our kids for those ninth-grade choices,” said Joseph Micheller, CMSD’s executive director of new school development. He said new research, which shows the importance of teaching students to manage emotions and make responsible decisions, required the district to look at how traditional public schools operate.

“In today’s world, you cannot separate social and emotional learning from academic learning,” Micheller said. “The new designs each take on a model that looks at the child as a whole.”

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