PLAN FOR ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL THEME SCHOOL CLUSTERS IN WARD 7 AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO SCHOOL CLOSURES STEM

We propose a STEM Cluster Model to accommodate the transition of students from Kenilworth Elementary through Ron Brown Middle School and eventually to Woodson Senior High School along a continuum of advancing applicable skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The Pre School STEM model would stress science, math and reading readiness skills for pre-k 3 and 4 year olds that would utilize the significant outdoor classroom resources available at Kenilworth Park and at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. The Elementary STEM model from kindergarten through the 5th grade level would stress math and science integration as the foundational skills which would be taught through a team specialist approach with Oral and Written Communication (Language Arts) and Social Studies as the other core subjects. The Middle School STEM model will build upon the foundational strengths acquired on the elementary level by introducing intermediate level engineering and advanced technology courses as core subjects. Since the use and application of technological tools will have been introduced as early as the pre-k level, students at the middle school level can be expected to focus on projects that encourage inventive thinking, ingenuity and real life applications. The High School STEM model will develop and utilize working partnerships with: 1. Academic leaders from local and national colleges and universities to foster and develop a premiere STEM pre baccalaureate program that prepares students to major in these subjects on the post- secondary level and receiving some college level courses during the 11th and 12th grade. 2. Academic and the local community colleges to prepare students for associate degrees in the STEM fields by providing them with opportunities to begin earning college credits as early as the 11th grade. 3. Business leaders to prepare high school students for entry level technical, vocational, management training and service careers in industry immediately upon graduation. 4. Federal, state and local government to provide scholarship and other funding for postsecondary education.

SPORTS We propose an OLYMPIAN Cluster Model that accommodates the transition of students from Davis Elementary through Kelly Miller and eventually to Spingarn along a continuum of

advancing skills in sports competition and related sports fields to include medical and occupational therapy, law and management in the sports industry. The objective will be to address neighborhood “beefs” through the encouragement and support of healthy intramural competition and Olympic level character building. Programs in health and physical fitness will address and teach the importance of a healthy and drug free life style as a prerequisite for sports competition.

ARTS We propose an Arts Cluster Model that will accommodate the transition of students from Smothers through Sousa eventually to a high school to be identified along a continuum of developing skills in visual, performing and technical arts. The building that currently houses Malcolm X Elementary would be a good fit for a Performing Arts Schools because of the open space configuration. Both the Arts and Sports Cluster will follow a similar academic focus as the one described in the STEM model with modifications to suit the specialty. However, a level of consistency and standardization will continue to exist in the core subjects of math, science, social studies and language arts that will allow students to transfer from one specialty cluster to another if their interests or academic goals should change at any point in the k-12 progression.

Suggestions and Recommendations 1. Reading should be taught as a skill rather than a subject and should be reinforced through the teaching of the core subjects of science, social studies and foreign languages. In addition if reading instruction is replaced with speech and writing instruction, students will learn how to read, write and speak more effectively. 2. Elementary school teachers should loop with their students in two year cycles allowing them to transit with their students from kindergarten to 1st grade; 2nd to 3rd grades and 4th to 5th grades. The DC CAS should be given at the end of each of these two year cycles. This will allow classroom teachers to devote more instructional time to the actual teaching of the subject matter rather than preparing for a standardized test that is going to be administered in the eighth month of the school year. 3. The current testing model begins test prep as early as October and continues through April during which the students and teachers are stressed and tested beyond the limit and May and June become down time. A two year testing cycle will give teachers a longer period to get to know and address their students’ strengths and weaknesses; and the school year can be used more effectively with the first year of the loop being devoted predominantly to instruction and testing being done only for the purpose of monitoring

progress. When a teacher knows that he/she will have those same students next year there will be a much greater investment in teaching until the final day of the school year to strengthen and advance their students’ skill set. In that second year the teacher will not have to lose instructional time getting to know their students and can get to work on the first day because routines and practices will have already been established. This model will also provide a much greater level of testing accountability and data analysis for both the student and the teacher in addition to saving millions of dollars that would be spent on yearly testing. 4. Every high school should have a nursery and child development center to accommodate the needs of teenage parents and their children.

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