MEDWAY — In the midst of adapting to meet the needs of students during a modified school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Armand Pires, McGovern Principal Amy McDonald and Burke-Memorial Principal John Kelley are pleased to announce that Medway Public Schools has continued to expand upon their responsive classroom model at the McGovern and Burke-Memorial Elementary schools.
The responsive classroom model is in its third year of implementation at McGovern and Burke-Memorial. The program model began two summers ago when a group of teachers attended responsive classroom training. Since then, McGovern and Burke-Memorial have dedicated significant time to growing their responsive classrooms and making it a priority at each school.
The responsive classroom model is an approach that is anchored in social-emotional learning techniques. Within this model, classrooms conduct morning and closing meetings and have social-emotional aspects integrated into their curriculum.
During morning meetings, teachers give messages to students and students are given the opportunity to share experiences. These meetings create an interactive model that teaches and discusses classroom and school expectations, allows for community building and gives students voices to share any comments or concerns.
“Now, more than ever, we are seeing an increased need for social-emotional learning techniques due to a necessary change in learning methods during this unprecedented global health crisis,” Principal Kelley said. “The abrupt transition to remote learning in the spring completely uprooted our students’ learning habits. As we enter into the upcoming school year, we hope to further incorporate our responsive classroom model into our modified school year to further assist our students.”
The responsive classroom model encourages consistent language, experiences and expectations throughout the McGovern and Burke-Memorial schools that students can understand and use to connect with one another. The model is also aligned with the district’s comprehensive wellness priority which recognizes the importance of health and wellness in all areas of a student’s life.
The responsive classroom model will be integrated into this year’s curriculum at McGovern and Burke-Memorial, whether it may be a hybrid, remote or in-person curriculum. Morning meetings and closing meetings will take place in each curriculum option.
“Integrating our responsive classroom model into a hybrid learning curriculum significantly benefits our students and teachers as it helps with creating a connection, even if that connection may sometimes be virtual,” Principal McDonald said. “We are confident that by using this model we will be able to prioritize our students’ mental health during a time when physical and mental health are equally important.”
Medway’s pre-K-fourth grade has a consistent responsive classroom approach that can translate into their experiences at the secondary level and beyond. As students grow older, these practices that have already been embedded will help to ensure positive learning habits throughout their education.