School Committee hears updates on new curriculum, roof project
Wareham High School is closer to offering an advanced, more rigorous curriculum as it makes strides towards earning its International Baccalaureate certification with the training of staff and upcoming implementation of the program.
“Currently, we are preparing for our final authorization for the diploma program for the Oct. 1 deadline and anticipating the IB team to visit us in the December or January timeframe,” said Ashley Yates-Paquin, the program's coordinator. She spoke at the School Committee's Sept. 21 meeting.
The International Baccalaureate organization was founded in 1968, and offers an advanced academic track for students at 3,500 different IB-certified schools in 145 countries. The system aims to allow students to take more responsibility of what they learn by engaging them in their own interests.
Yates-Paquin said an implementation program starts Nov. 8 with a full staff in-house workshop led by two practicing International Baccalaureate consultants. Individual content-based workshops for the department heads will follow.
The implementation will take place over the next two years.
“I’m happy to announce that we have trained 12 staff members and they are prepared to run the program and all nine required courses at the start of next year,” said Yates-Paquin.
The high school was chosen as an International Baccalaureate Candidate School in February and has taken measures since then to fulfill the requirements for authorization.
Many of the teachers have already implemented International Baccalaureate practices in the curriculum, said Yates-Paquin.
Brett McSherry, a student, explained what she found different in her English class this year compared to previous English classes.
Though she had a long list, she shared some of the reasons, including class discussions and oral presentations as being different from writing essays.
McSherry said she enjoyed that the curriculum was more challenging, encouraged critical thinking and allowed for the expressing of opinions.
Decas boiler and roof repair
Business Manager Michael MacMillan announced that Wareham Public Schools has hired Nadeau Construction to carry out the boiler and roof repairs at John W. Decas Elementary School.
The current 46-year-old roof will be repaired and the 45-year-old boilers at Decas will be replaced, thanks to a vote at the Spring Town Meeting that allowed officials to borrow up to $2.4 million for the improvements.
Nadeau Construction is asking for $1,165,300 for the project, which comes significantly under-budget.
“It's reassuring news, but we're not confident yet,” said MacMillan.
He described it as a “complicated” project that included solving problems such as providing temporary heat for students as the boilers are replaced.