Leadership and Learning Continues Focus on Deeper Learning through Equity
New Curriculum & New Courses This Fall
As a leadership team, we have been working on Deeper Learning as the pathway to equity for the last three years. We developed our Equity Beliefs, which are the foundational beliefs that frame our work for all learners and our greater community.
We’ve worked hard to lay the foundational building blocks that support improving student outcomes with consistent leadership, aligned action, and systemic persistence. We’ve moved from three failing schools and one high performing school to no failing schools and eight high performing schools. We’ve increased student opportunities for transcripted credits and Youth Apprenticeships. In addition, our ACT results are the highest they’ve been in five years and our data demonstrates that there is an increase in the number of learners who report having a trusted adult at school.
We will continue this focus in the coming year. We’re dedicated to providing a learning environment that provides all learners with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve any goal.
We are excited to announce the adoption of new curricular core resources in 4K-5th grade English Language Arts, 6-12 Science, and 6-12 Social Studies.
Scholastic Literacy was chosen by a team of teachers and approved by our Board of Education as our new 4K-5th grade English Language Arts resource. It is a comprehensive resource that includes access to grade level text, writing resources, a strong phonics program, a great online platform, and a lot of text we will put in the hands of our learners. In addition, each school is getting a new leveled “bookroom” that includes thousands of titles and teaching cards for each set of books. Our goal is to support the development of literacy skills at every level with flexible resources that allow us to continue our goals of learner empowerment.
For sixth grade through eighth grade Social Studies, our board approved TCI. The resource will be used flexibly in our intermediate classrooms to promote inquiry and cross-curricular work. Our sixth grade through eighth grade Science have been studying a variety of resources they feel strongly support our Deeper Learning work. Their recommendation includes a significant amount of updated equipment, some platforms, and some text resources.
Over the summer, teachers will be working to revise courses using our new curriculum, materials and equipment.
Black Studies Course
Over a year ago, a Black Studies Course was suggested by a panel of students who had participated in the African American Male Initiative (now called the African American Youth Initiative) through the Closing the Achievement Consortium who spoke to our leadership team. The students from the panel were asked to commit to helping us write the course.
During this same time, members of the West Allis Central’s Black Student Union expressed interest in working on the course too. During a committee meeting in February 2020, our Board of Education offered support to bring the course forward. Unfortunately, once we went into emergency remote teaching due to COVID, development of the course was delayed.
This spring, we had a team of teachers and students from West Allis Central and Nathan Hale High School who brought the Black Studies Course proposal to our Board of Education for approval. This summer, teachers and students will develop the full course curriculum. It will be offered to juniors and seniors starting in the fall of 2021.
Moving forward, we will continue to work on courses driven by our learners with plans to develop a Latinex Studies Course and an English/Social Studies combined course to explore social issues in the near future.