This year, teachers across grades PreK-12 at BFA-Fairfax are arriving early to meet in a variety of collaborative environments. For thirty minutes before students arrive in classrooms each morning, teachers are meeting to discuss curriculum, teaching, student progress, programming for students who are struggling and those in need of enrichment, and the vertical alignment of learning from grade PreK-12.

Juliet King discussing FWSU literacy progress monitoring with the K-2 team.
Juliet King discussing FWSU literacy progress monitoring with the K-2 team.

Some mornings, classroom teachers are meeting with supporting professionals, such as special educators; speech and language pathologists; literacy, math, and technology specialists; guidance counselors; and behavioral specialists to look at student work, in hopes of tailoring targeted instruction to meet the unique needs students. These teams of educators look at items such as classroom assessments, performance tasks, projects, and behavioral data to proactively anticipate and respond to gaps in student understanding and social/emotional stress.  

Rhonda Siemons working on tech integration with the 5th grade team.
Rhonda Siemons working on tech integration with the Grade 5 team.

Other mornings, teachers are meeting in multi-age, interdisciplinary teams to design engaging, rigorous curricula, to think critically about how to redesign systems at BFA to run smoother and more efficiently, and to discuss ways to engage community partners and get students learning outside the classroom. Some initiatives being taken on by these interdisciplinary teams are the new Farm to School Program and myriad mini-grant proposals to be submitted to the new Launch FWSU initiative, in which teams of teachers compete for six $1000 mini-grants (underwritten by the Bay and Paul Foundation) to pursue projects, aligned with the FWSU Action Plan, that meet student needs in creative ways.

Nichole Walker, Tiffany Rossi, and the 6th grade team setting up structures for ESTs.
Nichole Walker, Tiffany Rossi, and the Grade 6 team setting up structures for EST’s.

Teachers are jumping into this challenge with both feet. There is an undeniable professional energy being brought to this collaborative time. The dedication of teachers at BFA-Fairfax and their enthusiasm for collaboration has significant potential to benefit students.  When you see a teacher, thank them for their hard work on behalf of our wonderful students!  Our school system also cannot thank the BFA-Fairfax community enough for their investment in providing this time for teachers to collaborate.

Karen Shearer with the 7th grade team discussing personalized learning plans.
Karen Shearer with the Grade 7 team discussing personalized learning plans.

Target 2 – Leadership FWSU students and staff lead innovative, personalized learning opportunities, both locally and globally

Indicators of Success for this Target -Student and staff leaders innovate and take risks when faced with new challenges.

Action Step – Shift teacher roles from director of teaching to facilitator of learning

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