The fourth Mercury 7 Redesign support cycle began Tuesday, Oct. 10, in Coffeyville, and the seven districts are busy establishing their vision statements and setting goals, said Kansas State Department of Education’s redesign specialists Jay Scott and Tammy Mitchell.
The Mercury 7 Redesign districts and several of the Gemini project districts met in Wichita at the Kansas State Department of Education’s 2017 Annual Conference on Oct. 12. Nearly 100 people from the two groups met to share ideas and discuss progress.
Each school within the Mercury 7 districts were tasked with finalizing a vision statement. Here is what schools have developed:
Wellington Unified School District 353
Kennedy Elementary School: Our students will be creative, achieving, respectful members of our community by building positive relationships.
Wellington High School: Students will be empowered to adapt to, thrive, contribute and lead in a global society.
McPherson USD 418
Eisenhower Elementary School: Jaguars are ready. Explore. Experience. Serve.
McPherson Middle School: Future ready through balanced personalized learning.
Liberal USD 480
Meadowlark Elementary School: Students can reach their dream.
Liberal High School: The Angry Red Advantage: Play for Today, Vision for the Future, Purpose for Life.
Coffeyville USD 445
Community Elementary School: CES will empower students socially, emotionally, physically and academically, one life at a time in order to be prepared for real-world experiences.
Field Kindley Memorial High: Storming a golden path to postsecondary success.
Olathe USD 233
Westview Elementary School: Inspire. Cultivate. Create.
Santa Fe Trail Middle School: Empowering Learners to Explore.
Stockton USD 271
Stockton Grade School: We are TIGER ready. Touchstones. Innovative. Grit. Empower. Relationships.
Stockton High School: We are TIGER ready. Touchstones. Innovative. Grit. Empower. Relationships.
Twin Valley USD 240
Tescott Elementary School: Fostering Tolerance and Scholarship in every student.
Bennington Junior-Senior High School: Twin Valley Future Graduates will possess expert learning capacities and real-world employability skills developed through intentional exposure to trainings and interventions, allowing them to become competent and competitive members of society and the workplace in a postsecondary world.
Now, the 14 schools are busy establishing goal areas that will support their vision statements, Scott said.
“This is the jumping off point for the whole staff,” he said.
Districts are busy researching different goal areas.
McPherson Middle School’s redesign team recently traveled to New York City to receive training on a new ACT program called Tessera, which is a social emotional learning assessment tool for middle and high school students, as well as parents, teachers and schools. Tessera also offers lesson plans for teachers looking to integrate social emotional learning into their classrooms.
While there, the team also visited Teach to One: Math, which is a program that offers individualized, technology-based learning, and Middle School 88, a public school in Brooklyn that offers personalized learning to students.
Liberal High School’s redesign team traveled to Green Bay, Wisconsin, to visit three different high schools that offer students flexible modules.
“Students have schedules similar to college schedules with large group, small group and resource time built in for each course,” Liberal High School wrote about its visit. “Bells ring only to begin the school day, to designate the start and end of Home Room and to end the school day. Teachers collaborate in teams to deliver large-group instruction and monitor department-specific resource time.”
Meadowlark Elementary School sent 28 teachers to Omaha, Nebraska, to check out schools there that offer project-based learning. And Westview Elementary’s redesign team members are busy researching different aspects, such as having mixed-age groups for part of the school day.
“They are really focused on getting their research done so they can get schedules to their teachers,” Mitchell said.
The schools are proceeding according to schedule, she added.
“There is a lot of learning going on because we are stretching the way they think,” Mitchell said.
Scott and Mitchell’s schedules changed somewhat beginning Tuesday, Oct. 24: Below was the schedule they followed through Nov. 3:
Tuesday, Oct. 24: Office
Wednesday, Oct. 25: Visit to Tulsa, Oklahoma, schools
Thursday, Oct. 26: Office
Friday, Oct. 27: Curriculum leaders’ meeting
Monday, Oct. 30: Scott visited with Twin Valley
Tuesday, Oct. 31: Coffeyville
Wednesday, Nov. 1: Met with Wellington in Hutchinson
Thursday, Nov. 2: McPherson
Friday, Nov. 3: Olathe
Mitchell and Scott had a virtual meeting Friday, Oct. 27, with the 21 Gemini Project districts. The Gemini Project districts are required to attend the Zoom virtual meetings.
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