Warsaw School Board heard about different programs on Monday, including dual language immersion, STEM and literacy.
Lakeview Middle School Principal Todd Braddock talked about the school’s dual language immersion (DLI) program.
He said a lot of his interview for his current position three years ago was around the DLI program. He said he didn’t know how the program would go, but it has worked out remarkably. He said there were a lot of people that made the program successful.
The program has “an excellent retention rate” between elementary and middle school. Looking at DLI programs in Utah, there’s a 30% drop-off rate between elementary school and middle school. Braddock said a lot of the programming for DLI comes from Utah. Braddock said, with the group at Lakeview Middle School, they were able to keep all of the DLI students except one. They were also able to add 11 native Spanish speakers to the program.
DLI teacher Maria Burns talked about the native Spanish speakers brought to her class. She said the native speakers may only speak Spanish at home and may not even speak English at all. She said having them added to the program enriches the program because it allows the rest of the students in the program to be exposed to different dialects and cultures.
Burns said they have been working with materials around the AP Spanish curriculum.
Braddock said Ofelia Wade, the Spanish director for Utah Dual Language Immersion, visited Lakeview on Sept. 28. Wade said what she saw at Lakeview is what the standard of what DLI programming should look like. Braddock said it made him very proud.
In the first semester this year, the students will be learning the equivalent of Spanish I in high school. In the second semester, they will be learning the equivalent of Spanish 2. In eighth grade, they will be learning the equivalents of Spanish 3 and 4.
The DLI students showcased their Spanish skills for the board.
After hearing about Lakeview’s DLI program, the board was able to hear about Edgewood’s STEM programming.
Edgewood Middle School Principal JoElla Hauselman said Edgewood was certified as a STEM school in the spring. Since then, school administration have been training new staff on things like project-based learning (PBL).
She said the goal was for all staff to complete one STEM activity per quarter and one PBL unit each semester. A PBL unit can be cross-curricular, so a science class can match up with a language class.
Once Edgewood got its STEM certification, the administration knew it needed to create some sort of sustainability with the STEM programming and that’s where the school is now, said Edgewood Assistant Principal Jason Culver.
Project Lead The Way teacher Abbi Richcreek explained some of the programs she is doing this year.
In August, there were six teams that participated in Canal Days in Winona Lake. Two of the boats sank, with one of them winning the Titanic Award. Richcreek said, hopefully, the students had fun and will return next year.
Nov. 9 will be the seventh “Forget Princess, I Want to Be an Engineer” event, where Richcreek brings in at least 15 female engineers from the area. So far, between 50 and 60 students have signed up this year. They do a small activity and test it, Richcreek said.
In February, there will be the second Futures In Manufacturing event. Richcreek said 15 volunteers in the manufacturing field are brought in to work with the underrepresented student population in order for the students to see if the manufacturing field is something the students want to go into.
The last program the board heard about was the early literacy program.
Chief Technology and Analytics Officer Kyle Carter said WCS has seen some improvement in students’ literacy.
Students were pre-assessed at the beginning of the year on a score of 1, 2 or 3, with 3 being the highest and getting all 26 questions correct. A 2 has a correct score of 20 to 25 questions correct and anything below that is a 1, according to a slideshow Carter showed.
At the beginning of the year, 20% of students received a 3 for uppercase letters, with 26% receiving a 2 and 51% receiving a 1. For lowercase letters, 9% received a 3, 24% received a 2 and 65% received a 1. For letter sounds, 2% received a 3, 8% received a 2 and 87% received a 1.
Carter said WCS finished its first quarter assessment.
For uppercase letters, 38% received a 3, 23% received a 2 and 30% received a 1. For lowercase letters, 22% received a 3, 30% received a 2 and 40% received a 1. For letter sounds, 16% received a 3, 32% received a 2 and 44% received a 1 in the first quarter assessment.