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Middlesex school initiatives earn honors

by Larry Chowning

The Middlesex School Board was recently notified by the Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) that county public schools are being “showcased” in three areas for their success.

The VSBA recognized three Middlesex school activities as part of its “21st annual success directory,” which featured successful projects at school divisions around the state related to innovative programs, school initiatives, and partnerships.

“In addition to highlighting some of the best practices taking place in Virginia’s schools, the VSBA Showcases for Success directory can serve as a starting point to develop similar programs in other school divisions,” said Gina G. Patterson, VSBA executive director, in a notification letter to the school system.

“It is important to highlight innovative programs at all levels in school divisions, and the VSBA Showcases for Success directory illustrates there are excellent programs and initiatives taking place in Virginia’s public schools,” said Patterson.

Middlesex School Superintendent Dr. Peter Gretz said, “I’m especially excited about the features in this year’s VSBA publication because they highlight our division’s success in the critical areas of technology education, support for deeper learning and student engagement and ongoing connection and relationship to our greater community. I’m extremely proud of our progress in these areas and appreciate the Virginia School Boards Association taking notice and promoting the work of our exemplary schools.”

Flexible seating
Middlesex Elementary School (MES) received recognition for its “flexible seating environment to support deeper learning.” This initiative shows that students learn best in spaces that are personalized and flexible. In order to engage students in activities that cultivate today’s essential skills—creativity, problem solving, collaboration—classrooms need to move quickly among a variety of designs and structures, said the VSBA report.


VSBA also recognized the successful partnership between the schools and the Middlesex County Kiwanis Club for the sponsorship of K-Kids at MES, Builders Club at St. Clare Walker Middle School (SCW), and Key Club at Middlesex High School (MHS).

K Kids, Builders Club and Key Club students partner with local volunteers to learn the value of community service and participate in joint service projects together.

A third Middlesex school success program is the SCW’s interactive Chromebook media lab initiative. SCW teachers have been working on technology integration within the curriculum, taking steps to become Google certified instructors, and collaborating with school leaders, ITRTs, and other Google certified personnel to create engaging technology-driven lessons. 

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 04.19.2017

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