Dear Walton Community,
I am very excited for 2018-2019 school year to begin. We had a wonderful summer at WMS. We hosted a wonderful summer school with over 40 students (over 10% of our student body), which included a project-based experience called “How to Be a Grown Up” and Algebra Bridge Camp that helped gear students up for Algebra in the fall. A big thanks to our summer school staff-Natalie Capps, Lolita Curry, Bill Doar and Debbi Skolnick
We also had a lot of learning for teachers as we had teachers working on P-Based (Project, Passion, Problem) Learning in ACPS’s annual Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction Institute. This was the second year in a row that this was a focus of CAI, which means that we are continuing to build capacity around PBL and providing learner centered experiences for our students. Some teachers attended a couple national professional development institutes including the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Summer Institute in Philadelphia and the TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) in Boston. Our big focus this summer for teachers has been on building our social-emotional curriculum. We are building this around the principles of Developmental Designs. All staff will have received training in DD and our system for supporting students daily will be in place by the first day of school. As Steve Koleszar, Scottsville School Board Representative for 20+ years, reminds us, “Relationships are the bedrock from which learning is built.” We are committed to this principle through our work with Developmental Designs and our advisory period.
In addition, to learning we have had some maintenance work. What you won’t directly see, but will feel are the improvements to our HVAC system through the replacement of air handlers, ducts, and with duct cleaning. What you will see is a makeover of our kitchen and an upgrade to our lighting through the replacement of fluorescent fixtures with higher efficiency and brighter LED fixtures. This is part of a district-wide lighting upgrade.
This year we are also excited to welcome our first Spanish immersion students from Cale Elementary. This year we have a small cohort who will continue their Spanish immersion through social studies and science classes which will be studied in Spanish. We look forward to watching this program grow in the years to come.
I am honored to continue to serve the Walton community and its enthusiastic students and wonderful families. Our talented and dedicated staff look forward to continuing to put our students at the center of the learning process to prepare students for high school, college, and career success. I look forward to working with our whole community to support our youth on their journey towards owning their future.
Have a safe and joyful rest of summer,
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