Partner Focus: Kittery School District

kittery school districtKittery School District is located in Kittery, a southern Maine coastal town in York county.  The school district is dedicated to insuring engaging, innovative, and rigorous teaching, learning, and assessing for all students.  It consists of three schools spanning grades K – 12.

Marilyn Woodside, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology for the school department has worked with Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA) for a number of years.  She recalls that “over that time MMSA staff members have facilitated our work in a variety of areas and in all grade levels (and involving all teachers). Curriculum mapping was our first point of entry with MMSA, and we were guided through the process of alignment with the Framework for K-12 Science Education and continue to work with MMSA on instructional practice/instructional strategies and assessment.

It is fair to say that Joyce Tugel from MMSA has provided professional development to every grade 6-8 science and K-5 classroom teacher a few times per year for 6+ years. Over time Joyce worked with us on developing and implementing at least one STEM/design unit at each grade level and in tracing a STEM strand in our science curriculum. She has helped us move more from a ‘content delivery’ method of teaching to having our teachers facilitate their students’ ‘becoming scientists’ through investigation, evidence gathering, argument and reasoning.

With MMSA’s help, we’ve also moved away from disconnected ideas and areas within science to systems thinking, a huge shift that teachers have embraced and modeled. Perhaps one of the most rewarding things to come out of our work with MMSA is that teachers themselves are excited about what they are doing and want very much to bring that excitement to our students. All our science teachers (K-12) continually ask for more time with the MMSA staff!”

MMSA looks forward to this ongoing relationship to help Kittery School District continue to teach STEM in more meaningful ways.

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