ROCHESTER - Educators reinventing their approaches to teaching and learning had a chance to share that work last week when Sen. Maggie Hassan visited the R.W. Creteau Regional Technology Center.
Hassan joined teachers, students and administrators at Creteau on Thursday for a tour of the ongoing renovations at the facility. The event also included a series of presentations about the innovative classroom models being put into practice at Spaulding High School and Rochester Middle School.
Teachers shared their work within Spaulding High School's Move On When Ready model, which is now in its second year and is being implemented across 16 courses at the school.
Through the Move On When Ready model, students are able to access all of their course materials online and learn at their own self-directed pace, while making real-world connections like the one senior Devin Bowley experienced during his time shadowing nurses at Frisbie Memorial Hospital's emergency room. The model also empowers teachers to reinvent how their classrooms and lessons are structured.
"It just has made me rethink my approach to teaching," anatomy and physiology teacher Marilyn Shepardson said. "It's made me think about how I can back off and let my students become more independent learners."
Teacher Jay Keough shared Creteau Tech's work in developing its associate's degree program in criminal justice, which will give participating students a one-year head start on earning their community college degrees.
"We're just ecstatic that students are going to be able to earn these credits," Keough said, "and hopefully move on to fill the staffing shortfalls at police departments in New Hampshire."
Middle school teachers and administrators also shared their work sharpening the school's existing personalized program, including expanding the model to incorporate teachers' professional development efforts. They also updated Hassan on their work preparing students for the New Hampshire Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE).
Hassan praised the Rochester team for their work preparing students to contribute to the 21st century economy, and also highlighted the work she's doing in Washington to foster partnerships like the ones Rochester's developed with Great Bay Community College and local businesses.
"It was great to visit Spaulding High School and tour the Creteau Technology Center. Career and Technical Education centers like this these offer high schoolers the opportunity to learn valuable skills, including in STEM fields, to help them succeed in their future careers," said Sen. Hassan. "In the Senate, I'm proud to support Career and Technical Education programs that prepare Granite Staters for careers in the 21st century economy."
This year the Rochester Schools are piloting three career pathways: Associates Degree in Criminal Justice, Management and Insurance Certificate and the Automotive Technology Certificate program. These come in addition to last year's pilot of the Advanced Manufacturing Certificate program that was conducted in partnership with Great Bay Community College.
Jordan Mayblum writes stories for the City of Rochester