On Wednesday, May 18th at the Henry Hudson Regional School Board of Education meeting, members presented their task force readouts for two (of four) key areas: STEM and Athletics. The four task forces – STEM, Athletics, Teacher Wellbeing and Post Secondary Education & Career – were born out of the tri-district strategic planning sessions and are responsible for more deeply investigating where additional improvements could be made to the curriculum or school climate and culture. Each task force is made up of administrators, board members, teachers, parents and community members.
Mrs. Gail Woods-King, chair of the STEM Task Force (science, technology, engineering and math; arts is included when referring to STE(A)M), presented on proposed academic expansions at HHRS to create a STEM Academy, providing a unique and innovative learning environment for both middle and high school students. “Educating students in STEM subjects prepares students for life, regardless of the profession they choose to follow. Those subjects teach students how to think critically and how to solve problems — essential skills needed to compete and succeed in a technological society. Our task force recommendations are vital to creating the optimal learning environment to nurture these skills,” said Woods-King. The proposed changes include an elective STEM specialized pathway of learning at the high school as well as a ‘makerspace’ where students can collaborate and create projects based on facets they’ll be learning in STEM classes. The academy is expected to be completed within a 3 year period, but may be ready for limited usage sooner. (Full presentation found here)
Mr. Jay Mullan, chair of the Athletics Task Force, also presented their recommendations. “Our goal was to expand the current athletic program at Henry Hudson Regional for both middle and high school students without sacrificing their current programs. Based on questionnaire findings, we learned that there is a real interest to provide girl’s soccer as well as spring track, “ said Mullan. They are also proposing a weight room, engaging the elementary schools earlier on, improving relations with the local recreation programs and utilizing other local facilities. (Full presentation found here).
Dr. Susan Compton, Superintendent of Tri-District Schools, said of the findings, “We know that when students are involved in sports, clubs and other school programs, there is a direct correlation to academic achievement. I’m very proud of all the hard work our board of education and task force members have put into these findings and we look forward to investigating their proposals further to benefit our students.”
The board voted to accept the task force recommendations and will continue to roll out incremental changes as warranted. Board of Education meeting minutes can be found by visiting the HHRS website or by visiting this link.