In the quest for tangible changes that mean real improvement, one school is finding that middle school renewal is a team effort.
Westside Middle School is undertaking some physical alterations, but students will experience other changes as well. Grading practices and student-teacher ratio are among the revisions that will be made.
The process of introducing changes to the middle school began when voters approved a $79.9 million measure. Meanwhile, administrators and teachers have begun a process they call middle school renewal, designed to make the school friendlier to students in that age group.
Westside’s assistant superintendent for teaching and learning Mark Weichel says that many of the best practices for benefiting adolescent learners have been in place for some time. However, the school’s enrollment expanded, necessitating some tweaking.
“There’s going to be some real, tangible changes, and more the following year,” Weichel said.
According to Jim Sides, Westside’s director of secondary teaching and learning, the renewal process is expected to take up to two years.