Chimacum middle school to participate in Initiative to fuel professional development FOR TEACHERS in STEM education
For Immediate Release
August 26, 2014
Contact: Stu Prince, 360-732-4219, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chimacum – Chimacum Middle School has been selected to be among 45 schools across Washington state to participate in a cutting-edge initiative to provide teachers with stronger professional development in math and science teaching aligned to Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
Chimacum Middle School teachers are very excited to begin working together on this innovative professional development model to help all students learn and be successful!
Washington STEM's professional
development initiative for STEM teachers, called STEM-PD, builds on a pilot
project in the Anacortes, Nooksack, Bellevue, Renton, and Highline school
districts. The professional development initiative uses state-of-the art
technology that enables teachers to take charge of their own professional
learning. Additionally, six teachers, with a history of excellence in teaching,
will be participating and sharing their practice as they explore new ways to
use technology in their professional learning. With this technology, teachers
can collaborate, share and learn from one another, and even request real-time
coaching. For a statewide list of schools participating in the initiative go to
STEM-PD is part of Washington STEM's nearly $4 million in investments announced today that support innovative, regionally based programs aimed at improving teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and math across Washington state. The statewide nonprofit's investments have two main focuses: (1) Continuing the growth of regional STEM Networks across the state and (2) Expanding its cutting-edge professional development initiative to help teachers with implementation of the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Washington STEM is investing $2.5 million to expand the STEM-PD initiative to 45 schools statewide, the majority of which are in STEM Networks.
"These investments will bring STEM professionals, educators, and communities together to improve STEM education and prepare our students for the STEM careers that drive Washington state's economy," said Patrick D’Amelio, Washington STEM CEO. "The Networks will improve STEM education coordination in their community and across the state; and rigorous, high-quality teacher professional development will help ensure students in the classroom are STEM literate."
Washington STEM is a statewide nonprofit advancing excellence, equity, and innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Launched in March 2011 with support from the business, education, and philanthropic communities, our goal is to reimagine and revitalize STEM education across Washington. For more information, go to www.washingtonstem.org
Over the last decade, CMS has done a series of fundraisers to help pay for these programs, we will continue to do this and strongly encourage all of you to participate. That money helps pay for the additional staff we need to support the programs such as cooks, nurses, and outdoor experts. It pays for gas, equipment, and curriculum materials as well. Mostly, it helps us pay for some students who cannot afford to go. Your support helps others in a positive and caring way.
Our goal is to assure that our programs continue to be offered and part of the education of Eagles, but to do that we have to make sure that we can pay for them and fundraising only pays for a small amount of our shortfall.
Beginning with Camp Cispus this fall, a new policy will be in place to make sure that the school can continue to fund these programs and that we have an equitable method to offer scholarships to those who need financial support.
This year all students must pay for camp at least one week prior to attendance. Payment plans are available, as are scholarships for those that are on Free and Reduced Lunch. To apply for Free and Reduced Lunch you can fill out the form below.
Dear Eagle Families,
Welcome back Eagles, I hope all of you are enjoying the last days of summer as the staff is preparing for an exciting school year. Some changes are coming to Chimacum Middle School this fall and we want to keep you all up-to-date on this important information.
First, we want to welcome our newest Eagle staff, Miss Amber Hurst comes to Chimacum all the way from Ohio and will be teaching 7th grade science this year. We are excited to have Miss Hurst as part of our team.
Some structural changes will be coming to the school day, students will be attending in a five period day, instead of six, with a new class design, Humanities, taking the place of Social Studies/Language Arts. Humanities is the integration of Language Arts standards taught through the Social Studies content; students will get all their reading and writing skills taught in Humanities, but they will practice them in Social Studies, Math, and Science so all students see that reading and writing is not just about one class, but involves all aspects of our everyday lives.
Teachers will be working in grade level teams and teaching core classes in 83 minute periods. So, all 7th graders, for example, will be shared between three teachers for Humanities, Science, and Math. This will allow teaching teams to do more in-depth work with students and integrate curriculum more easily. Electives will be at the end of the day, 4th and 5th periods, and will remain 50 minutes, just as in past years.
When you come in to school this year, you will find a freshly painted facility. All walls in the middle school hallways, and some classrooms, have been repaired and freshly painted. I honestly believe that students take more pride in themselves when they have pride in their school, this is the first step toward giving Chimacum Middle School students a facility they can be proud of. Over the next few years, we expect to see even more upgrades to the school, campus, and entire district.
Eagle Day, August 28 will no longer include an evening element. After tracking turnout to the evening event, low numbers have suggested to us that parents do not want to come back in the evening for a second school event in the same day, so we will be providing that same information to families during Eagle Day, please look for information about this in coming days.
Look for some changes in grading and assessment as well. Four teachers will be piloting Standards Based Grading (SBG). If your student’s teacher is doing it, you will receive a letter home explaining how it will work. SBG will allow students and you, as a parent, to get more specific feedback on how your student is doing on the Common Core State Standards and in class, which are the foundation of the new state required assessment (SBAC). SBG removes non-academic factors from grades, so you know if a student’s truly understands the concepts and skills they must know to be successful.
In the end, the school and our students cannot be successful without your continued support. In my first year, I was impressed by the number of involved, caring parents and families. I hope we continue to see this in the future and I encourage you to visit us and see all the good things happening at CMS.
Stuart G. Prince Sr.