Woodland Primary School Report
To: Michael Green
From: Ingrid Colvard
Date: December 13, 2016
RE: Report Woodland Primary School (Grades PreK-1)
Alternative Recess Initiative
The WPS Building Leadership Team has worked hard to make a different experience for kids at recess. An analysis of our discipline and injury data clearly showed that this was a time during the day many children struggled with. Now children have opportunities to choose less stimulating activities if they wish, and in just these first couple of weeks there is already a significant change in the congestion on big toys. This is important from a safety perspective, as well as making recess a more positive time. This initiative has required staff to be particularly flexible and open to a completely new approach to student supervision. Children are giving us extremely positive feedback so far!
These past weeks have been inspirational, as WPS has started a deeper partnership between mentors and mentees, as well as among students.Each teacher is engaged in a partnership, either as a mentor or mentee. This leveraging of experience to best support our teachers has had a very encouraging impact on morale, teacher skill development, and integration into Woodland as a system. The unusual aspect of this program is that many of the mentors are not teaching at the same grade level as their mentees. This initially seemed to be a challenge, but has presented numerous opportunities to develop a much healthier school climate. Woodland Primary is definitely becoming a more connected community, with much less separation between grade levels.
Play-Based Applied Learning
Our kindergarten teachers have created rich learning experiences for our youngest learners through play. Each class has time every day to engage in activities of their choosing that allow children to make sense of their world through exploration. Teachers guide kids to think, problem solve and invent during this time. Classrooms each have their own approach, but all children have access to math manipulatives, dramatic play supplies, art materials, writing opportunities and much more. We even have a class bakery, where students learn about handling money, serving others, and working together. This has brought joy and excitement to learning, and is producing some very encouraging results in several areas.