Equity & Excellence

  • Equity and excellence in education go hand in hand.  There is always work to be done to ensure that all students are afforded the same opportunities to achieve their personal best. It is important to review curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices with a critical lens, and where we find discrepancies, address them.  Recent examples include:  creating WHS science pathways with laboratory courses for all students, designing WMS mathematics pathways with reduced tracking, and the addition of the Effective School Solutions to provide in-district clinical services for students with emotional difficulties.
  • There continues to be a need to improve differentiation in the classroom in order to meet the needs of all students.  One size does not fit all.  A didactic approach to learning limits many students' ability to access the curriculum.  We need to continue to emphasize and train teachers in the use of high-yield strategies, such as scaffolding, visual representations, purposeful grouping arrangements, and small group conferencing strategies.  The current effort to improve our K-8 literacy program through the readers/writers workshop provides a framework to differentiate for all students.
  • Provide all students with opportunities to engage in enrichment activities during the course of the school day. Investigate the possibility of creating a school-wide enrichment model at the middle school to complement the Project Challenge program.
  • Employ the Tri-State Consortium to conduct our next high school accreditation visit under the auspices of NEASC.  Tri-State's  model is more closely aligned with the work we are focused on, and the feedback will be more meaningful than what has been received through NEASC.
  • There is a need to review the current high school internship program for several reasons, including the fact that not all students participate or report having meaningful experiences. There is a State requirement for all high schools to have a one-credit Capstone experience beginning with the class of 2021.  Capstones are student-driven inquiries in which seniors demonstrate mastery of high-priority outcomes by engaging in independent studies on a topic they are passionate about. Capstones have the potential to include combinations of internship experiences, student inquiries, student projects, and online learning.
  • Explore the potential of eighth grade mini-capstone to provide students opportunities to explore or investigate an area of interest culminating in a final project exhibition. The concept of a capstone, or Genius Project, would inform the system on how well we are teaching to our 21st century goals.
  • Counselors in public high schools report spending 23% of their time on college admissions, while their independent school counterparts report spending  over 50%. Many independent schools hire a counselor solely devoted to the college admission process.  We should continue to analyze data regarding our college admissions to strengthen our support systems for assisting students and families with the process.  
 Continuous Improvement:  Equity and Excellence
Examples of Pathways





WMS Math Pathways:
High expectations and support leading to strong foundation in algebra
WHS Course Sequencing:
Increased lab experiences and electives for standard pathway
Effective School Solutions:
Newsletter-Fall 2015