This article first appeared in the January 26th, 2012 edition of the Vermont Standard.
By Gwen Stanley
Woodstock Union High School recently received results from a self-study with New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The entire school was the focus of this intensive study that took place in early April. A visiting committee of professional educators was present at the school for the duration of the study.
The 97-page report goes into great detail about the facilities, staff, strategies and syllabi of the High School, and will be used as a guideline for future accreditation at the school.
The report gave a highly positive review of the school’s curriculum, staff and implementation.
“The taught curriculum at Woodstock Union High School provides a deep and rich learning experience for students. Students have numerous opportunities for application of authentic knowledge. The school has begun to align some curriculum guides with the 21st century learning expectations, but the written curriculum is not complete. Although teachers and administrators have identified their perceived barriers to this work, the school needs to make this completion of curriculum work a priority for the school during the next eighteen months,” the report states.
It continues, “The informal collaboration, such an advantage in small schools, cannot replace a thoughtful, formal process for curriculum review, revision and implementation. Real world connections and authentic projects are integral to the instruction at Woodstock Union High School. The small number of students in most classes supports the efforts of teachers to personalize instruction. The teachers use a variety of feedback from parents, students, and peers to guide their engagement in informal and formal discussion of instructional practices. The teachers’ expertise in their subject areas strengthens their instructional strategies.”
WUHS Principal Greg Schillinger, who said that the school is very pleased with the results of the report, will be expected to submit routine Two- and Five-Year Progress Reports documenting a detailed status of all evaluation report recommendations.
The full text of the report can be found at the WUHS web site at wuhsms.org.