WILMINGTON, MA — At last week’s School Committee Meeting, Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand announced that the district will be exploring significant programmatic changes to the course offerings at Wilmington High School over the next year.
“For a variety of different reasons, what has not been addressed in a very thoughtful or deep way is how the program of studies at the high school, how the schedule, how the range of experiences for students passing through Grades 9 from 12, how or in what ways might there be opportunities to adjust those experiences to better align to a vision of a graduate and to better underline what we want a graduate of Wilmington High School’s experiences to include,” Brand recently told the Committee.
Brand revealed that one of his three district improvement goals for the next 12 months includes: “The development of recommendations to the School Committee which outline any recommendations for program, course, and scheduling changes that would help to advance the experience for students at Wilmington High School, in alignment with the school’s vision.”
“With the recent development of the WHS Vision of a Graduate, it is incumbent upon the District to review current course offerings and to identify programmatic and scheduling opportunities that align the overall four year experience with this vision,” Brand wrote in a memo to the School Committee. “A thorough review of course offerings is also timely given the reduction of student enrollment (particularly at the secondary level), and it creates an opportunity to analyze these trends in alignment with program/course offerings at the high school and to support our ongoing work with NEASC (New England Association of Schools & Colleges).”
Brand outlined the steps he intends to take while conducting a “holistic review” of the high school’s current program: (1) Form a steering committee that includes representation from faculty, instructional leaders, community members and high school and district administration and students. (2) Review the recent WHS NEASC Report, findings and recommendations. (3) Review current program of studies, schedule and the established vision of a graduate. (4) Identify opportunities to embed elements of this vision within the program of studies, either through new offerings and/or realignment of existing courses, schedules and experiences.
Brand anticipates sending a call for volunteers to serve on the steering committee in early January. The Committee would review the NEASC study, vision of the graduate, and enrollment trends and projects for the remaining of the school year. The Committee would then develop recommendations involving programs and course offerings at the start of next school year. Recommended changes would be presented to the School Committee in November 2021. Any approved changes would be phased in starting with the 2022-2023 school year.
The School Committee unanimously approved the goal.
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