State College, Pa- Monday evening, the State College Area School District’s (SCASD) Board of Directors unanimously approved a contract for a plan that looks to update Middle School education.
Tuesday, WTAJ spoke with district leadership on some of the main componets of the plan.
Dr. Will Stout, SCASD’s Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education said that a few years ago the district took a hard look at their high school education model, which resulted in a student scheduling change.
Stout said last year, the district analyzed their elementary program, ulitmatley deciding to extend the elementary school day, along with adding a STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
But now, the district says it’s time to remember the “middle child” in the education system.
“The one area I don’t think we’ve taken a deep dive with has been in our middle level education,” Stout said.
The district will be using three main componets in reviewing middle school education:
-Looking at research for the best way to teach the kids (with the help of PSU Professors).
-Gathering feedback from all middle school students, parents, teachers, and the community (via survey).
-Looking at other middle schools’ programs.
In reference to gauging what other schools are doing, Stout said, “We’re not going to limit our exposure to just Central PA, or Pennsylvania. We’re going to look and see what are some innovative practices that are going on in middle schools, that we may consider moving forward.”
A team of more than 40 teachers, students, parents, and administrators met for the first time Monday evening to further discuss the plan. They will help oversee any potential changes made to middle school education.
Stout feels its important to give this type of attention to middle school learning.
“I think it’s very imporant that we look at middle school as a separate educational level for students, and try to meet their needs, rather than try and impose elementary principles or high school on them,” he said.