Over the summer a team of three administrators and four teachers from North Lamar Independent School District attended Confratute at the University of Connecticut to learn about the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM). Those who attended from North Lamar were Superintendent John McCullough, Stone Middle School principal Kelli Stewart, Bailey Intermediate Principal Angela Compton, Keitha Chalupa, Toni Preston, Jennifer Bryant, and Diedra Rast.
Confratute is a combined CONFerence, and an instiTUTE with a lot of FRATernity in between. It is geared toward providing educators with research-based practical strategies for engagement and enrichment learning for all students, as well as meeting the needs of gifted and talented students. The campuses of Stone and Bailey will be implementing this program during the 2015-2016 school year.
The Schoolwide Enrichment Model focuses on enrichment for all students through high levels of engagement and the use of enjoyable and challenging learning experiences that are constructed around students’ interests, learning styles and preferred modes of expression.
“Our SEM time this year will be called ‘JUMP,’ which stands for Journey to Unlocking My Potential,” said Stone Principal Kelli Stewart as she pointed out the newly painted mural in the hallway outside her office.
Students will have time set aside in the fall and spring where they will be involved in enrichment clusters. The students will be grouped according to their strengths and interests.
“Our goal is to provide interest-based, student driven, real world learning experiences in which students apply their knowledge to develop products for authentic audiences,” said Stewart. “At the end of each semester our students will provide a Jump Showcase for our parents and community members.” Examples of enrichment clusters include wood working, video production, fashion design, and culinary classes.
Inspired by attending Confratute, Stewart added, “We are thrilled to be given the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful program. This program will allow our students to discover their gifts and talents and will give them the ability to interact effectively with other students and adults who share common goals and interests.”