Board OKs STEAM curriculum

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WARDSBORO/DOVER — At the regular Board Meeting of the River Valleys Unified School District at Wardsboro Elementary School on May 6, the members of the board voted unanimously to approve transitioning the educational theme of the Pre-K through Grade 6 curriculum to STEAM learning.

After a presentation by Wardsboro Principal Tammy Bates about research she has done over previous months about STEAM, members of the board further tasked Principal Bates to work with the teaching team, the administrators, and the educational professionals at the Windham Central Supervisory Union (WCSU) to develop a "roll-out plan" for the focused curriculum.

STEAM (or STEM) is the acronym for Science/Technology/Engineering/Arts/ Math. A five-minute video about part of the research completed about STEAM by Principal Bates is posted on the Wardsboro School

website, wardsboroschool.org. No app or sign-in is needed.

The Board's intent is to create a focused curriculum for the Wardsboro Elementary School that would benefit the students there similar to the ways that the current International Baccalaureate (IB) benefits the students at The Dover School.

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Principal Bates said, "The next steps are to meet with the teachers to develop a plan. I hope to set up a schedule for possible work sessions over the summer months. Together we will want to

determine methods to integrate STEAM into our classrooms that best suits our students and school culture, to set up future professional development, to take part in some online conferences, and to more deeply investigate our options to see if we want to pursue certification. We've got a lot to do before we can fully launch."

Dover School Principal Matt Martyn said, "In the River Valleys schools, we strive to provide a world class education with Vermont values. The Dover School is the first elementary school and the only public school in Vermont that is authorized to deliver the International Baccalaureate program. Having two distinct educational opportunities right here in our small towns is a wonderful asset to local families."

Principal Martyn and others have commented that these two schools, each with its own specialty educational focus, may help this region become more attractive to prospective home buyers and those who are relocating for professional reasons.

For details and to keep informed of the planning stages for the STEAM programs, attend the board meetings held on the first and third Mondays of each month at Wardsboro Elementary School and Dover School, respectively. These are open public meetings. Meetings are also videotaped and can be viewed at brattleborotv.org or on YouTube.


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