Parents: Before you panic, read this.
We believe that kids want to learn, are capable of learning, and learn constantly as a natural process. Our mission is to create an environment of mutual respect that celebrates the learning process, instills self-sufficiency, inspires curiosity, honors differences, and prepares all students for life after our classroom.
Welcome to Westerville North and Team Gold!
Our students will be entering a different world than students just twenty years ago. We need not look beyond our own backyard to confirm it. Our community is not immune to the integration of technology into our everyday lives, the shifting job opportunities that present themselves, and the speed at which change occurs. If the primary responsibility of schools is to prepare our students for the future, we must change along with society. Since change is the only constant, students must be prepared to thrive in a world of change. The future will belong to those who can think on their feet, those who can address and solve unforeseen and often unpredictable problems in creative ways, and those who do not give up in the face of adversity. American schools have long been a model for successfully providing opportunities to all our citizens, but the model of the past cannot be the model of the future.
In an effort to meet these new needs, Westerville North High School has created an inquiry-based learning team sharing common teachers, integrated curriculum and block scheduling. The unifying theme is centered around growth mindset and critical thinking. This group also utilizes blended learning and mastery learning ideas to allow students to work at the pace necessary for their own educational path.
Our Core Values: In and out of our classrooms we emphasize and model:
Innovative Thinking and Inquiry
Components of what we do:
Design: We use an integrated design model on this team. Like engineers, artists, and scientists our students use a design process that is connected across all disciplines.
Mastery Learning: Grades reflect mastery of skills and standards. Students have multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery of required coursework.
Honors Weight: Rubrics will be used to allow students the opportunity to earn honors weight for courses.
Practices: A big part of what we do is integrating our curriculums.
Individual personalized learning has been incorporated in the design of these courses. Students can have some choice in the ways in which they are consuming the material. Once students have internalized the material, they then will have some voice in how they show they understand what they have just learned. The work they produce is considered when the teacher provides feedback on the level of mastery the student has attained. Students can revisit any of these sections to review material for better understanding, or further the explanation they have provided in their produced material. Essentially students have the ability to go back and revise their work product to show that they have mastered the concepts in each standard. With this mindset, students are never really "done" with the material, as they have many opportunities to improve their understanding and/or work product.
The learning process is broken into three parts, choice, voice and mastery:
Choice - Students have an opportunity to learn material in a variety of ways. While some students may have a need to gather background information, others will be ready to learn new material that is aligned to the standards. Others still will come to the course with enough information to be able to dive deeper into content material by seeking out their own resources and engaging with material in their own personal way.
Voice - Once students have completed a requisite number of course activities they will be given the opportunity to provide their understanding of the material. This can be done in a variety of ways to be catered to the ability and skill set of the individual student.
Mastery - The course instructor will provide feedback and record the current level of mastery a student has presented. If a student wishes to further their explanation for the instructor, the reported mastery level may be adjusted accordingly.
Mastery Learning will be used to grade each student. Mastery learning is based on the philosophy that all students can master a course if provided the time, feedback, and support they need to learn and demonstrate that learning. All people learn at different paces and in different styles, and often require more than one attempt to find success. Based on this philosophy, mastery learning gives students access to not only specific content and skills they must master, but multiple opportunities to learn and demonstrate their mastery.
At the beginning of each unit, students will be given a rubric that describes how a student can demonstrate mastery and mastery with honors on each standard. We will be using a grading scale (think elementary school) where:
MH = Mastery with honors - 100%
M = Mastery of standard - 95%
AL = Almost mastered the standard - 75%
NY = Student has Not Yet grasped the standard - 65%
NT = Not attempted (Student did not submit work for standard) - 0%
Because we are a public school in America, these grades will eventually translate to a percentage with a letter grade. A student who receives an H on a standard is deemed to have mastered that content, and is right where they should be. Since most assignments contain more than one standard assignment the grade will be an average of the multiple standards. Breaking down the grade in this way, we believe, provides us with much better and more comprehensive data on each student’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing for more individualized or differentiated instruction.
Except for Mr. P and Math - who will use PowerSchool exclusively to report progress (although the assignments will be on Schoology), our plan is to use Schoology to house all evidence of learning on daily/weekly bases. PowerSchool, the program that creates grade cards, figures G.P.A., and exports to students’ official transcripts, will sync with Schoology. In order to stay informed of your student’s progress, we recommend following along on Schoology, which will sync with PowerSchool. However, any itemization is best found by consulting Schoology.
**Links to both Schoology and PowerSchool can be found at the top of every page at WNHSGold.com.**
We will also use our team website for a number of things, that include:
Keeping parents up-to-date on what’s happening in classes (Think of it as your Friday folder...Hmmm...Maybe we’ll call it that).
Feeds for our team Twitter (@WNHSGold) and Instagram (@WNHSGold)
Inviting students as guest bloggers
An easy place to contact your teachers - just click on the “Contact” tab!
A great place to publish student work
We are only limited by our imagination.
We encourage everyone to check out the website at least once a week, to stay engaged with classes and team activities.