SCHOOL COMMITTEE NOTEBOOK: Middle School To Launch New After School Clubs with Late Buses; New K-5 Science Curriculum

WILMINGTON, MA — Below are five things that happened at last week’s Wilmington School Committee Meeting:

#1) READING GRANT ACCEPTED: The School Committee accepted a grant from the Maurice Newkirk Library Award BookLove Foundation in the amount of $2,000 to WHS English Teacher Lisa Desberg. Desberg will bolster her classroom library with the grant.

“Lisa Desberg has committed to placing student joy at the center of her reading workshop,” read the acceptance letter. “She works to ensure that her students can find themselves as well as others reflected in themselves — including texts such as Rupi Kaur’s Honey and Tara Westover’s Educated: A Memoir. Lisa started the #WHSReaderLeader campaign on her campus at Wilmington High School in Wilmington, MA, to develop the reading lives of all students in her school, not just those who are fortunate to have her as a teacher. Through #WHSReaderLeader campaign over 100 books were given to students before summer vacation last year.”

“I was so excited for my classes when I received the award… There were 450 applicants from across America and Canada, and only 60 received the grant. I cried for a week straight when I got it,” remarked Desberg. “I’ve been teaching here for the past 18 years and I hope to be here for at least another 18 years!”

#2) WALKING SCHOOL BUS UPDATE: District Health Liaison Laura Stinson provided the School Committee with an update on the walking school bus program.

The next walking school bus will take place for Woburn Street School students on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 (rain date: Thursday, October 17, 2019). Students from buses 9, 11, 12 and 17 are invited to participate.

“The program has been a great success and we’re look forwarding to including more schools this spring,” wrote Stinson. “The North, Shawsheen, and Woburn Street Schools will be participating in the program this spring.”

Stinson thanked Wilmington Police Traffic Safety Officer Brian Moon and the North Reading Transportation Company for their cooperation.

#3) NEW K-GRADE 5 SCIENCE CURRICULUM: The School Committee received an update on the new science curriculum — Elevate Science by Pearson.

“After investigating four different programs over an 18-month period, including a 6-month pilot of two of these programs, we have selected Elevate Science by Pearson,” wrote Assistant Superintendent Brian Reagan in a letter to parents that was shared to the committee. “Parents and students will find the Elevate software platform familiar as its design is similar to Envisions Math, the math program adopted in Grades K-5 four years ago.”

Teachers participated in a training on September 25, 2019 and will begin using the program in early October.

“Wilmington has not had a consistently applied elementary science program in many years,” added Reagan. “The rollout of Elevate Science represents an exciting opportunity for students at a time when skills related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are as important as ever.”

#4) START TIME COMMITTEE UPDATE: Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand provided a brief update to the School Committee on the district’s new start time committee.

“Information has gone out to members of the community to solicit volunteers, following your vote of approval of the committee,” Brand told School Committee members. “People were asked to respond by this week, so I’ll work to get that committee together. I don’t know what the response rate has looked like yet… I will circle back to the Committee to let you know who is serving on it.”

#5) NEW AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS AT MIDDLE SCHOOL: Dr. Brand share information about a new after school program at the Wilmington Middle School — A.C.E. (After School Clubs & Enrichment).

“This program is being run and overseen by Mrs. Parker, who runs our CARES Program,” announced Brand. “The ACE Program is an effort to not replace the activities we currently have at the school, but to expand after school opportunities for students and to provide some flexibility in terms of creative thinking and new and innovative ideas & programs that staff may come up with to provide an outlet for students to get involved after school.”

“The first session runs from October 15 to December 19. The cost is $60 per student per club,” said Brand. “These are running on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

Two late buses will provide transportation to students in order to support these new clubs and activities. Fall offerings include Mindfulness & Yoga, Happiness Club, Minecraft, and Improv.

More information on the ACE Program can be found HERE. Enrollment is limited. The  registration deadline is October 7, 2019.

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