The first BWRSD Digital Learning Teams met during the in 2015-6 school year. Participating teachers, including three from KMS, conducted action research on blended learning and presented their findings to colleagues. Administrators chose this strategy to empower teachers to take ownership of the district-wide shift to blended learning. In the 2019-20 school year, a minimum of 1-2 KMS teachers will participate in a new BWRSD initiative, the Personalized Learning Fellowship. This fellowship is designed to provide intensive training in instructional design for personalized learning. Administrators anticipate working with a number of teachers who are less comfortable with digital technology than many DLT members, but who are strongly committed to providing high quality, personalized learning experiences for all students.
There were a number of challenges to implementing blended learning at KMS, especially in terms of infrastructure and coordination. "Every classroom was a snowflake" in that there was little standardization of hardware. Classrooms had a variable combinations of SmartBoards, projectors, and computers. Ultimately, the BWRSD technology team "cleaned out" and standardized all KMS classrooms and provided each teacher with a Chromebook. School and district administrators note that KMS teachers might benefit from further coordination and collaboration around technology. Occasionally students comment that they have been working on computers "all day" and that they would like to spend more time interacting with peers. School and district administrators note their ongoing work to provide social-emotional learning experiences for students and to identify strategic combinations of digital and technology-free modes of learning.
Principal Homen says, "From a principal’s perspective, you have to make sure you’re providing teachers with support and that you’re in the trenches with them. We focused on building a safe zone, a community of teachers trying things with regard to blended learning. KMS was able to blossom with that culture."
Kickemuit Middle School (KMS) embraces a community of students from the adjacent towns of Bristol and Warren, along the eastern shore of the Narragansett Bay. KMS is dedicated to providing for the educational needs of its nearly 800 students in a safe, supportive, and culturally diverse environment. In line with Bristol Warren Regional School District's "Future Ready Learning" initiative, KMS embraces a vision for personalized learning in which instructional approach, path, and place are tailored to the needs and interests of each student. KMS teachers engage in professional development related to blended manifestations of personalized learning and take ownership of blended learning design in their own classrooms.
Kickemuit Middle School
Warren, Rhode Island
2885 United States
In 2014-2015 Rhode Island used the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) to test students in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The NECAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Rhode Island. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.
The 2015 results of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments provide a first look at whether students are meeting the expectations of the new learning standards in literacy and mathematics. These standards are designed to prepare students for success in their next grade level, in postsecondary learning, and in career opportunities.