The Falmouth Public Schools open the doors to students Tuesday, September 3, and that means children across town will return to the classroom—with varying degrees of excitement—while teachers and other school staff are already deep in preparation mode.
Next week, the district’s convocation for all Falmouth faculty, which formally celebrates the start of the new school year, will be held at Falmouth High School on Tuesday, August 27, and orientation for freshmen and new high school students will take place Wednesday, August 28.
The Falmouth School Committee gathered for a four-hour retreat Wednesday, August 21, at the Sea Education Association headquarters on Woods Hole Road.
“This school year, our school committee will focus on revising the district’s mission, vision and core values to align with the district’s Framework for Student Success,” Superintendent Lori S. Duerr wrote in her message to Falmouth families on Wednesday.
This framework ensures that students “are supported in their academic learning, growth and achievement [and] are offered personalized learning opportunities to further develop their unique strengths, interests and talents,” Dr. Duerr wrote.
As the district continues to cultivate its relationship with the Woods Hole professional community, Dr. Duerr wrote that the Falmouth community will soon learn more about how students are influencing changes to the earth, using maps to determine impacts and deepening their understanding of local marine environments.
“Although these activities may not impact all grades, our three-to-five-year plan will include activities at every grade level,” she wrote.
In addition, each of the four elementary schools is creating makerspaces where students can use their imaginations, creativity and curiosity to engage in science, technology, engineering, arts and math, or STEAM, projects.
“We are moving to a 1:1 device program in grades 5 to 12. Every student will be assigned a Chromebook as a personal device over multiple years. We will be providing more professional development on how to use the device for creative, innovative and collaborative learning,” Dr. Duerr wrote.
Students reported in Project Tomorrow’s “Speak Up” survey that they are more likely to take notes, conduct research, create documents to share, collaborate with peers on subjects, check their grades, receive reminders and ask teachers questions through email.
“In essence, students are more responsible learners when empowered with digital tools,” the superintendent wrote.
Falmouth High School has added a theater program to its fine arts department, and students can sign up for classes during the school day as well as after school. Students will participate in one drama and one musical each year.
On the physical health side, Dr. Duerr wrote that all schools will have expanded salad bars this year.
“We are also adding new physical education equipment, encouraging the expansion of ‘bike and read’ [activities], adding athletic teams and clubs, and encouraging short intermittent physical activity breaks for all students. Mindfulness and reflection opportunities are growing in strength, and a focus on restorative practice will emerge across all our schools,” she wrote.