(MS)² chose the Flex model of blended learning because it was drawn to the flexibility it allowed for content and practice based on student need. Faculty also were drawn to the wide array of grade level offerings, from grades 4-12, which would help to individualized educational opportunities to students with a range of learning needs.
When the program first started, the transition was a bit of a shock for teachers, Principal Kathryn Procope notes. Students and teachers alike needed encouragement to stay engaged in learning.
Because 6th graders come from many different schools, faculty find a that the adjustment to blended learning can be long, sometimes lasting until November or December. However, once students become used to the increased responsibility that the flex model requires, they see tremendous student growth.
One challenge that (MS)² is motivated to overcome is fulfilling the learning needs of special education students, who sometimes benefit from paper and pencil work rather than screen time.
Listen to your younger, tech-savvy teachers, and pair them with veteran teachers, who might be more resistant and encounter more issues with acquisition. Also, be sure to enlist the support of parents in the endeavor. Lastly, remember that young people use technology the same way we do. If they get off track, it's not a big deal. Make sure to remind them of their goals, and they will eventually learn to self-regulate.
(MS)² prides itself on creating a space for developing autonomy for student learning at a middle school level
They also have developed a culture in which students have a true process for understanding what they are responsible for, and they know how to get done what they need to get done.
Howard University is celebrating 151 years of eliminating the inequities related to race, color, social, economic and political circumstances. As a change agent in our society and community, Howard University continues to be at the forefront by hosting the only public charter middle school on the campus of an HBCU. The founders of (MS)2 and Howard University had the foresight to understand that the creation of a pipeline for students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, begins in middle school. We saw the realization of the vision with the first Howard University who completed middle school at (MS)2. This is evidence that our mission and vision is still relevant to our community and our work must continue.
We have recommitted to the mission and vision of our school and to the success of all our students. If (MS)2 teachers say they taught in their classroom, that means that their students have learned it. (MS)2 is a place where asking the right questions is more important than providing the right answers. Every stakeholder at (MS)2 must agree that we will do whatever it takes to ensure that every young person that enters our school is given every opportunity to succeed at high levels. We realize that the work we do is not easy however, we are committed to being the best possible educators and supporters of our students and we will continue to learn from our missteps and get better at what we do each day.
(MS)2 has experienced many successes in the past however those did not come because we were complacent. They came about because we implemented research-based programs; we worked towards the common goal of student success. Our partnership with Howard University provides our staff and students with a unique opportunity to participate in research, collaborate with Howard faculty and students, and utilize the university facilities to supplement our curriculum.
Extraordinary means remarkable, noteworthy, beyond what is usual. At (MS)2 our students “Choose the Extraordinary!”
Contact: Kathryn Procope
Contact Title: Principal
Howard University Middle School for Math and Science (MS)2
405 Howard Pl NW
Washington, District of Columbia
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