World Class curriculum pilot considered next year at Lodoen
To help alleviate the space crunch at Cheney Middle School, the West Fargo School District has formulated a plan to move approximately 2500 to 300 middle school students to the Lodoen Education Center and the Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center next fall. If voters approve building proposals currently being developed by the district, the move will be a short-term solution until building projects can get underway.
The district has decided to use the move as an opportunity to implement a pilot program introducing a twenty-first century world class curriculum for the middle school students who will be attending the Lodoen Center. One of the goals of the pilot program will be to emphasize science, math, and technology, with wireless one-to-one computer access for students, interactive white boards, and mobile training carts with docking stations for computers, projectors, and equipment to give instructors more resources and flexibility in the classroom.
According to Don Lennon, principal at Cheney Middle School, the response from staff and students has been very positive. Lennon has been holding bi-monthly meetings with staff members to discuss a plan of action, and has gotten a lot of enthusiastic feedback from Cheney teachers.
"Many teachers have already volunteered to move to Lodoen, and students have voiced a real interest in going," Lennon said.
Technology Director Rob Kaspari emphasized that any equipment purchased for the pilot program could be easily moved within the district later wherever it is needed. He is excited about having the opportunity to test the waters with a world curriculum on a small scale before the district makes any further decisions whether it would be feasible to implement the curriculum district-wide.
"It is the perfect opportunity. This is probably one of the biggest initiatives we've ever taken," Kaspari said.
Middle school students and parents will be able to learn more about the program options at the Lodoen and Sheyenne Centers during open houses being planned in March. There will be no band or orchestra facilities available at Lodoen, however, choir could be taught in a classroom setting. For students interested in a technology based curriculum, the program at Lodoen may be the best fit for them, while other students may prefer to attend Sheyenne to take full benefit of their music program.
Administrators hope to have more plans finalized by mid-April.