The autumn season in the Berkshire Local Schools is always one of great excitement and anticipation, and such is the case in our District right now. Thank you to the community for your continued support of our fall student-athletes and other organizations over the last several months. This regular report is designed to keep residents informed with important, strategic matters within the District.
One of the P.R.I.M.E. Committee’s most significant contributions, apart from their leadership on the PreK-12 construction process, has been their delivery of The Graduate Profile. Consisting of community members from all five townships that comprise the school district, the Graduate Profile is a guiding set of standards that community leaders believe that when learned, will ensure success for our students in the future. The five core skill sets include: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Civic Responsibility, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity and Innovation. The full version of the Graduate Profile elaborates further on each of these five essential skills as well, so that students have a ‘north star,’ directing their overall educational experience in the District. The Graduate Profile is based upon the Project Based Learning model, which helps our students to create performance opportunities and demonstrate mastery of the knowledge they need for future success. This approach will also be deliberately interwoven into how the new PreK through 12 school is designed, to ensure that curriculum, instruction, assessment and learning spaces align.
In terms of an update on the construction process, a great deal of behind-the-scenes activity and data crunching is taking place. In the very near future, the schematic design phase of the project will kick-off and will likely include a series of community meetings. We will communicate those dates as soon as they are scheduled.
Finally, in accordance with our Project Based Learning model and incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S.T.E.M.) curriculum on a regular basis, students in our District are exploring various lessons and applying them to hands-on learning experiences. At the elementary level, students will read a story in the classroom and then participate in critical thinking exercises in our S.T.E.M. labs. Generally performed in groups to promote collaboration, students apply their literacy understanding skills from the story, to projects such as building structures with toothpicks and gumdrops or creating towers with buttons and coins. Reading stories, understanding the very themes and lessons from them, and then relating those ideas to hands-on work underscores our primary mission in our District which is to maximize our students’ potential as individuals and responsible citizens.
Thank you for your continued support of the Berkshire Local Schools.