Putting All Students at the Center

By: | January 5, 2019
District Name: Putting All Students at the Center
District State: Connecticut
District Website: http://www.meridenk12.org/

Several years ago, Meriden Public Schools faced high suspensions, expulsions and arrests. Most students come from minority backgrounds and more than 70 percent qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

Transformation to student-centered learning environments required a shift in culture, curriculum and instruction. The goal was to better prepare all graduates to be college and career ready. The district implemented open access to Advanced Placement, a 1-to-1 program and teacher-developed digital content.

The district also launched a “Take Charge of Your Learning” campaign. Staff and students pledge to be continuous learners and to embrace recent changes in instruction. Teacher leaders in K12 facilitate “I’m Charged” classrooms that serve as model teaching sites for Meriden and other districts.

Students now create their own “personalized learning experiences” as they pursue interests and possible careers. For example, Middlesex Community College offers college courses in medical careers at the high school.

In-house tech integration specialists and student-centered learning coaches provide teachers with blended learning strategies for effective technology integration.

Along with growing academic success, suspensions have decreased by 62 percent, expulsions by 89 percent and arrests by 86 percent.