The South Orange – Maplewood School District launched a new initiative, W.I.N. (“Whatever I Need”) for 6th and 7th grade middle school students in the 2015/16 school year.
The W.I.N. period was announced last spring at a Board of Education meeting by then-principal of South Orange Middle School, Joseph Uglialoro and Maplewood Middle School Principal Jerrill Adams. Read more about the announcement here.
The program will formally begin in October, after teachers have had a chance to assess students to determine what enrichment and/or supplementation they require.
Here is a helpful FAQ sent by middle school principals Adams and Lynn Irby at SOMS last week.
What is the W.I.N. Period?
This year we are introducing a new W.I.N. (Whatever I Need) period in grades 6 and 7 to meet students’ needs by providing additional time for enrichment in Science and Social Studies and for supplemental instruction in English Language Arts (ELA) or Mathematics. The programming will also provide a weekly advisory/character education period to address the social and emotional needs of all students and to strengthen relationships within the school community. The W.I.N. period concept is used in many middle schools in New Jersey. It is a way to provide opportunities during the school day for enrichment or supplemental instruction.
What will students do in W.I.N.?
Students will be placed in supplemental or enrichment programs, based on an assessment of their current academic needs. If a child is placed in science enrichment for the first semester, then they will be placed in social studies enrichment for the second semester, and vice versa. These placements are flexible, and will be reviewed quarterly. The possible courses include:
|6th Grade||7th Grade|
|Science Enrichment||Students will participate for a semester in a modified version of the Intel Middle School Science Fair Program. This program exposes students to research methodology and inquiry based learning activities and culminates in using the scientific method to develop and present an original science project.||Students will participate for a semester in the Detectives in the Classroom Program developed for middle schools by Montclair State University. Students will develop the understandings and skills of epidemiologists, investigators who study the occurrence of disease and other health-related outcomes in populations of people for the purpose of preventing or controlling health problems.|
|Social Studies Enrichment||Students will participate for a semester in National History Day Program. Throughout this experience they will learn the research and historical thinking skills to develop an original research project that will highlight a specific theme in history.||Students will participate for a semester in the Global Classrooms Model United Nations Program. Global Classrooms is an innovative educational program that engages middle school students in an exploration of current world issues through interactive simulations and curricular materials. The semester will culminate in a school based model UN simulation where students take the role of a delegate of assigned countries.|
|ELA Support||Students identified for supplemental English Language Arts will advance their reading abilities and build upon existing analytic skills through the use of Scholastic’s Comprehension Clubs. The materials were piloted in a classroom at MMS this spring.|
|Math Support||Students identified for supplemental mathematics will receive personalized instruction targeted to their unique areas of needs by participating in a blended learning program that includes online and small group instruction using the i-Ready Mathematics Program.|
How will students be placed in Supplemental Programs?
Students’ needs will be assessed during September using benchmark assessments in ELA, and the i-Ready mathematics diagnostic assessment. Criteria for Placement:
|6th Grade||7th Grade|
|ELA||Students will be placed into the supplemental ELA W.I.N. period based on the results of the common assessment that will be administered in early September.||Students will be placed in the ELA W.I.N. period based on multiple measures. Measures will include a 6th grade final average of a 69% or below during the 2014-2015 school year and the results of the common assessment.|
|Mathematics||Students will be placed in supplemental Mathematics during the W.I.N. period based on their performance on the 5th grade common assessments in Math in Focus. Students who receive a 75% average or below will be given the i-Ready diagnostic to determine their placement.||Students who were in College Prep during the 2014-2015 school year and received a 79% or lower will take the i-Ready diagnostic test. Based upon the i-Ready diagnostic, if a student is assessed as below-grade-level, they will be placed into the supplemental mathematics W.I.N. program.|
When will W.I.N. programming start?
Programming for this year will begin in October once all assessments are administered and teachers have had time to review the data and make programming decisions. Until W.I.N. programming formally starts, the W.I.N. period is being used for team building activities, additional instructional time in the core content areas, and an opportunity for students to ask for assistance with specific materials.
Will students be locked in to one placement for the entire year?
Data will be reviewed on a quarterly basis to determine if students’ placement is meeting their academic needs. At the end of each quarter each team will review student data to determine if any students’ W.I.N. placement needs to change. The data that teams will review will include the following for each subject matter:
|Mathematics W.I.N.||ELA W.I.N|
|Marking Period Grade||Marking Period Grade|
|i-Ready Diagnostic||Lexile Score|
|District Assessments||Benchmark Assessment|
What if my child needs support in both ELA and math?
Students needing both supplemental reading and mathematical intervention will receive the reading intervention during the W.I.N. period and will receive the mathematical intervention either during one of their related arts periods or during the after-school intervention academy.
What is the weekly Advisory Period?
Once a week, an Advisory Period will take place in the student’s W.I.N. class and will focus on building community, relationships, and study skills. Activities will include restorative circles – a research-based approach which emphasizes proactively building supportive school communities, increasing communication skills, and helping students preview the possible consequences of their choices and take responsibility for their behavior. Restorative practices cultivate a culture in which everyone feels like they belong and in which every member of the school community feels that they are seen, heard, and respected. The Advisory Period will also include other team building and character education material, and will help students learn effective organizational and study skills.
What happened to the conference period that used to take place daily after school?
The conference period still exists and students can still go directly to teachers with questions or to make up work. The period has been shortened to 9 minutes per day. We found that many students were not taking full advantage of the conference period, and decided that extending the school day will provide all students with more instructional time.