Several years ago, Worthington Estates (WES) went through a "Renewal" process. The goal was to find or create an educational model that would help prepare our students for the demands of the 21st Century. Through conversations involving staff, parents, students, and community members, two cornerstone pieces were chosen for our focus; Leadership and Assessment. Other important components are Literacy, Technology, and the 4 C's (Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity). We believe that by focusing on these tenets, our students will be provided an the opportunity to flourish both inside and outside of the classroom.
Leadership - WES adopted the Leader in Me model to guide our development of student leaders. The Leader in Me model is developed around Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and Sean Covey's "The 7 Habits of Happy Kids." The 7 Habits are Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand, and then to Be Understood, Synergize, and Sharpen the Saw. When teaching leadership, students are taught that they must be a leader of themselves and of their learning. Recently, we have also placed focused on the 7 virtues of honesty, respect, responsibility, compassion, self-discipline, perseverance and growth mindset, and giving. The habits help form a mindset of how we work while the virtues guide who we desire to be within our school community.
Assessment - At WES, we use assessments to further student learning. Our approach is based on the Assessment for Learning philosophy. This type of assessment helps every student answer the questions: "Where are we going (academically)?" "Where am I now?" and "What do I need to do to get there?" When assessing for learning, a teacher informs his/her students what they are studying, checks student understanding along the way, and provides descriptive feedback to the student so he/she can make appropriate changes before the final assessment.
Literacy - Literacy is essential to the success of every child. Not only do children need to know how to read, but they must be able to gather information from a variety of texts. Every teacher helps in the development of these reading skills because reading is necessary in every subject area. Our building embraces a balanced literacy approach to instruction, meaning that students are exposed to teacher modeling, interactive writing and reading, and shared learning as they work towards independently using skills for reading and writing. The Benchmark Assessment System helps our teachers guide instruction within reading groups.
Technology - The ability to access, gather, and communicate information through technology is a needed skill for the 21st Century. Though technology is ever changing, students can develop skills necessary to use a variety of technology for educational purposes. Technology is utilized throughout the building and through the library media center.
The 4 C's - The skills of Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity are skills every child will need no matter what career they will eventually have. The 4 C's are integrated in every area of study. These skills overlap with the development of the 7 Habits.
The development of all of these skills will open the door to many possibilities for our students!