Creating innovative learning methods and a rich academic experience is what Winton Woods City Schools is all about. Winton Woods Intermediate School, Principal Jeremy Day and two middle school teachers Anna Owens and Mica Thompson showcased these district attributes when they presented at this year’s New Tech Annual Conference (NTAC). A network that connects educators from around the country to learn and grow from each other. In 2015, the district joined the New Tech Network becoming the second district to transition all grades to project-based learning with a New Tech Network approach that transformed their teaching styles to a visible approach leading to outcomes that matter.
Mr. Day, who has attended several NTAC conferences, taught a session about features on Echo and how teachers can use the program for more than just scheduling but for student and teacher engagement as well. One of the cool features included instructors responding to their students assignments with a grade and video. “Instead of just receiving a percentage grade, teachers can help students understand why they received that grade,” said Day. “A quick response that encourages student engagement and learning. Plus, the students are excited about getting a video from their teacher. It is very engaging for the student and the parent can see it too.” Paul Curtis, Senior Director of Platform Development for New Tech Network, was also a part of his session and helped facilitate questions.
Middle school teachers Anna Owens and Mica Thompson led their session called “Equity is a Verb” about how we deal with race and how educators can work to uproot it. “Equity is not a noun but a verb and something that has to be put into action,” said Thompson. “It is acknowledging how we deal with race, how we uphold it consciously and unconsciously and doing the work of dismantling and establishing an anti-racist culture with anti-racist practices.” Thompson created a workbook with helpful questions and quotes from authors. Together they created a three-year guide with key texts and driving questions for each year to help with critical thinking, processing, and moving forward. During their 90-minute session, teachers were able to learn what the education system’s role is and how to implement classwork practices that can change the outcome. They hope to continue to work with teachers from around the district and in the nation to enhance student learning.