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The Valley Reporter
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Harwood Union Transformation Committee explores new H-Term option

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At the beginning of this school year, Washington West and the Harwood Union administration supported the creation of a Transformation Committee to explore possible options for school change and growth that support 21st-century learning.   


“In the fall, we spent a few weeks trying to define how we should bring about that change.  After exploring various options, we felt the best course of action would be to pursue the planning of a proposed H-Term,” explained school Principal Duane Pierson.

Initially presented as an idea by teacher and Rowland Fellow Jean Berthiaume in the spring of last year, the H-Term proposal would be a two-week period of time (final two weeks of the school year, June 2012), during which students (grades 7 to 12), teachers and community members would explore focused areas of study. 

Students would essentially create their own immersion path, whether it would be an internship, a college course, an international trip, or a course taught by a teacher/community members. 


Teachers would have the opportunity to focus on one topic to teach for two weeks, or co-teach with a student/faculty member or possibly a post-secondary instructor.  Offerings would be credit bearing and would be assessed by the students and faculty at the end of the term.

The committee chose the H-Term possibility as a transformational experience for many reasons.  The current educational system has essentially been the same throughout the last century.   This model has served our economic industrial model and citizenship well,” Pierson explained.

“However, with the change of our global and technological society, expectations and demands on what students know, understand and can do has increased as our local and global connections have become more immediate and sophisticated.  The H-Term option would create an environment to challenge this industrial system of school, as well as be a bridge to realizing what future schools could look like,” he added.

The Committee (which is composed of school board members, teachers, students, parents and administrative members) considers itself fully invested in the proposal of the H-Term.  The group has been considering and discussing the implications of an H-Term over the past six months. The transformation committee has sanctioned six working committees to examine issues and hurdles that might be encountered in the endeavor.   The committees in this group include Outreach, Impact on Scholastic Outcomes, Legal Issues, H-Term Offerings, Budget/Finance, and Professional Development.

All parents, community members, and others are invited to an open forum about the proposed H-Term on Tuesday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the school.  The forum will allow time for questions and input on this proposal.  The Transformation Committee will be presenting the H-Term template to the school board on Wednesday, April 27, for a vote on its approval.  All community members are welcome to attend these meetings.  




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