Archive for December 20th, 2010


Gray-New Gloucester Middle School

December 20, 2010

Transitioning to a standards based school

me with music (band) educator Beth Polletto, art educator Barb Weed, and music (chorus) educator Laura Whitney

In our quest to learn more as we move towards a standard based assessment system for arts education in Maine Catherine Ring and I took a day trip last week to Gray to visit the middle school. Gray-New Gloucester (MSAD 15) is one of the 6 schools/districts in Maine who are working with the Reinventing Schools Coalition (RISC). The other communities are:

  • RSU 57
  • RSU 2
  • RSU 18
  • RSU 82
  • Milford School Department

We really enjoyed our visit and seeing the staff and students in the first half of the year utilizing the standards based system was a great learning opportunity. Barb Weed is the middle school visual arts teacher who also is one of the two teacher leaders. They have had extensive training in the RISC model and the vertical team they’ve created has gone deep into the work. In fact, each teacher said they would never go back to the other way of teaching and learning. The principal and assistant principal emphasized that the work is just at its beginning point and they agreed that the journey has just begun.

The most impressive part of our day was the conversations with students. They were not only engaged in their work but were articulate about sharing their knowledge of the work and the program/system. They also said they weren’t interested in going back to school the way it used to be. We will continue to share information as we learn.



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