WEARE — The exterior of Center Woods Elementary School is looking shipshape for the start of the new year, and inside there are some changes afoot as well.
Throughout the summer, extensive work has been done on the exterior of the school. There's a new roof and an improved drainage system behind the school, and the landscaping has changed in front of the building along with the removal of trees.
"The physical improvements to our facility are wonderful," said Principal Jess Potter. "Removing the trees improves student visibility and that increases their safety, but it was done in such a way as to not compromise the beautiful setting of our school."
But Potter said that the behind the scenes work that's occurred at the school is what she's excited about. Center Woods will be the first school in SAU 24 to roll out standards-based report cards, she said.
The new report card will look different because it will show student learning as the student progresses through mastery in specific standards in common core subjects: English, math, science, and social studies.
The Common Core Standards have been adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia and are a set of academic standards in math and English language arts that will ensure all students have the knowledge and skills they need in core subjects.
"Instead of letter grades, students will receive marks that show how well they have mastered the skills," said Potter. "The Common Core Standards specify what students should know and be able to do at each grade level, it has been our job to determine how to get students to that level and how to access their progress."
In English language arts and math there will be a list of skills and knowledge that students are responsible for learning that will help parents and teachers track students' progress.
"A parent will be able to see clearly what needs to be learned in a particular standard and how their student is progressing throughout the year in that learning process," said Potter.
Several new staff members have been added to the roster of Center Woods Elementary this year, including third-grade teacher Amy Campbell, Title I teacher Kara Loth, enrichment coordinator Deb Lynch, technology coordinator Michael Muzzy and paraprofessional Kira Winward.
Opening day at Center Woods is Aug. 28.