Elementary, high schools build bridging program
Today's high school students will be expected to contribute more to their learning than just sitting through class, taking notes, memorizing facts and passing tests.
Through a new learning approach adopted by Yuma Union High School District last year, students will be active participants in their education, learning such skills as research, critical thinking, problem solving and working collaboratively.
But not every student who enters high school will be ready for such a shift from the traditional learning model they've experienced since kindergarten.
Addressing that potential lack of skills by some students for Ready Now Yuma is one task YUHSD officials have set for themselves this year.
The high school district will be partnering with the elementary school districts to set up a bridge program, said Jamie Sheldahl, YUHSD associate superintendent.
The goal of the bridging program is to identify incoming freshman students who might need some extra help before entering high school, he said. That help will be provided during a summer bridging program.
In the past, Sheldahl said, students who failed English I would take it again during summer school.
That was one shortfall teachers identified last school year, the first year of Ready Now Yuma.
The hope with the bridging program is that the student will gain the skills during summer school before entering high school to be able pass the English class, for example, the first time.
The bridging program will prepare students for the challenges of the new curriculum and learning approach through improving their organization, reading and note taking skills, Sheldahl said.
“This will give (the students) a jump start before they enter the Cambridge curriculum,” Sheldahl said.
The framework for Ready Now Yuma, the Cambridge curriculum is a widely used curriculum internationally that was developed by the University of Cambridge in England.
It is a more vigorous and inquiry-based curriculum proven to better prepare students for success than more traditional test-driven curriculums.