School Board Approves Expansion of Project i, Notes Increase in AP Interest
Project-based learning began as a pilot last year, but positive feedback will continue the program next school year and expand it to include 7th and 8th grade students; high school enrollment in advanced placement courses shows strong interest.
A pilot program targeted at seventh graders in Muskego schools will not only get another year, but will be expanded to include eighth grade as well. The Muskego-Norway School Board unanimously approved the expansion of 'Project i,' which is a project-based learning (PBL) module, at Bay Lane and Lake Denoon Middle Schools.
PBL is generally done by groups of students working together toward a common goal. Performance is assessed on an individual basis, and takes into account the quality of the students' results, demonstrated understanding of the topic, and student participation. The idea behind PBL is to mirror how learning occurs 'in the real world.'
Tammy Gibbons, Director of School Performance at the district, explained that the seventh graders in the program now would get first consideration to continue as eighth graders, and if openings become available, other students may opt into the program. Parents of incoming seventh graders would apply for the program through the same lottery system as in the first year.
Project i, which served 56 students in its first year, received positive marks from parents. Gibbons shared their feedback, which cited student's ability to "think outside the box," and how it "set the stage for 'real world' business and collaborative work in the future."
Recapping other school board notes
Superintendent Joe Schroeder told the board that the number of students enrolling in advanced placement courses at Muskego High School has dramatically risen. The present school year has 500 students in various AP courses, and next year's number based on scheduling reflects 800 students.
"This shows a true readiness to be successful on the part of our student body, and kids who celebrate the rigor of these classes," Schroeder said.
Scot Ecker, Director of Business Services, reviewed food costs for the district and is not recommending an increase in food service fees for next year.
The resource officer agreement between the district and the Muskego Police Department has been renewed for the 2012-2013 school year. Officers are placed in each of the middle schools and at the high school, and are shared among the elementary schools as well. The officers are on site not only for enforcement but to promote a positive relationship with youth and the police department.
Open enrollment is available at Muskego elementary schools, but not at the middle schools or at the high school, according to assistant superintendent Kelly Thompson. However, not all grades at all elementary schools are available, based on projected enrollment and capacity, and break down as folllows:
1st grade - Mill Valley, 4 spaces; Tess Corners, 3 spaces
2nd grade - Mill Valley, 2 spaces
3rd grade - Country Meadows, 8 spaces; Tess Corners, 2 spaces
4th grade - Mill Valley, 3 spaces