LHS improvement plan OK’d

Aug 8, 2019 by

Published August 7, 2019

By DAN TOMASELLO

LYNNFIELD — Lynnfield High School will be focusing on social-emotional learning and curriculum development once again next year.

The School Committee recently approved the LHS improvement plan. High School Principal Bob Cleary presented the plan to the committee this spring.

“We are excited to continue with our curriculum review and also expand our efforts to address the social-emotional learning of our students,” said Cleary in an email sent to the Villager.

Social-emotional learning

As part of the social-emotional learning (SEL) goal, Cleary said the high school will be enhancing and extending its social-emotional support system for students.

The high school will be training support staff with the Signs of Suicide (SOS) prevention program, which uses face-to-face interviews for screening purposes. Administrators, guidance counselors, adjustment counselors and psychologists received SOS training last year. The educators who have already received SOS training be training additional staff next year.

“Signs of Suicide implementation will take place for all ninth grade students in the fall,” said Cleary.

Similar to the middle school, LHS will be administering and analyzing the results of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey that students in grades 9-12 will be taking this fall.

High school officials will also be looking to expand passion-based learning in the Compass program. Passion-based learning entails using a student’s passion in order to help them learn.

Cleary said the high school’s support staff and lead teachers will be applying knowledge to “actual case studies to support anxious students.” Science Department Head Scott Gordon and Foreign Language Department Julie Sgroi recently told the School Committee a number of high school students have been experiencing anxiety. The two department heads utilized meditation and mindfulness strategies last year in order to help students deal with anxiety and stress.

Additionally, high school teachers will be developing goals and undertaking collaborative-learning experiences in order to enhance social-emotional learning strategies into educators’ teaching practices. Educators will also be taking advantage of professional development opportunities from the Massachusetts Partnership for Youth.

Curriculum initiative

As part of the district-wide improvement goal, LHS will be implementing the fourth year of the Understanding by Design (UbD) curriculum initiative.

Cleary said certain professional development days will be dedicated to UbD’s stage 3, which will pertain to learning strategies, vocabulary, differentiation, resources and technology integration for most courses.

Additionally, the high school will be allocating professional development time for UbD’s stages 1-3, which will focus on desired results, assessments and learning plans for additional courses that have not yet begun. Similar to the other three schools, the high school will be implementing the Keys to Content Writing program.

While project-based learning (PBL) is not included in the high school improvement plan, Cleary said LHS will continue with its PBL initiative next year. According to the goal, PBL experiences will be reflected in the Atlas database teachers are using as part of the UbD initiative. Cleary said the high school will be analyzing how project-based learning “is being integrated across classrooms.”

Additionally, the high school will be allocating department meeting time in order to analyze curriculum maps as well as share best practices.

“Administrators and the Lynnfield Curriculum Council will dedicate additional professional development time for social studies teachers to align the existing curriculum to the revised Massachusetts Framework,” said Cleary.

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