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For the goal of Pedagogical Improvement, below are some examples of what has been happening this year:


 

  • Entrepreneurship program: We have developed a program in the High School that introduces our students to entrepreneurship. The program includes a practicum in 10th grade; an elective in entrepreneurship taught by a parent and local business owner. There is also an economics main lesson in 11th grade taught by a parent and professor of business; and the opportunity to participate in the Tempus conference, a conference on social entrepreneurship co-sponsored by KWS with Triskeles. This year a number of our High School students are actively involved in the planning of the Tempus Conference.




     
  • Improvement of math program in High School and Middle School: Our High School math faculty have been working on ways to strengthen our math program with a consultant from the Green Meadow Waldorf School. Our goal is to implement some changes in next year’s program that will help us challenge students at all ranges of ability.




     
  • 9th grade Environmental Science: This is a new experiential learning component in the 9th grade program, led by High School science faculty member Andy Dill. The students have been involved in observations and studies of our immediate environment. Later in the year, the course will include an outdoor trip as part of the experience. Former Kimberton faculty member, Lisl Hofer, will be returning to lead the trip.




     
  • 10th grade Navigation: This is a new experiential learning component of the 10th grade program. It will include a field experience in navigation or orienteering towards the end of the year.




     
  • 11th grade Economics: This is a new main lesson that was introduced last year. This year it is being taught by parent Neil Sicherman, business consultant and former Associate Dean in the Business School at Villanova University.




     
  • 11th grade Physics elective: This is a new elective course for 11th graders who want to explore more math-based science. It is taught by High School science and math faculty member Hezi Haut.




     
  • 11th and 12th grade English electives: This is a new option this year for 11th and 12th graders. The students have the opportunity to elect courses such as: Rebellion and Rediscovery; Representing Ourselves: 20th Century African American Literature; Finding the Self: the Mystery of Identity; Reconciling Moral Dilemmas: Russian Literature.




     
  • 11th and 12th grade art block electives: This another option for 11th and 12th graders to give them more choice in their art courses. Students can choose from sculpture, painting, or paper marbling and bookbinding.




     
  • All High School electives: Last year we re-established elective periods for all High School students, where students can elect a class to learn something new or follow an interest of the theirs. This year students could choose from courses such as: photography, advanced guitar, gardening and cooking, entrepreneurship/junior achievement, computer applications, science fiction, personal fitness, tae-kwan-do, yearbook, chamber music, literary magazine, and college preparation.




     
  • Peer counseling program in High School: This is a new program started this year. High School Counselor Karen Thompson worked with a group of interested students for the first semester of this year preparing the groundwork for the program which was launched in January. The peer counseling program prepares students to help provide support for their peers and helps to promote a more inclusive culture.




     
  • Media literacy in Middle School: The media literacy program was started this year to teach 8th graders how to properly do online research. Librarian Kristen Thomas-Clarke has been facilitating this program.




     
  • 3rd grade mini-farm: Class teacher Carmen Maciarello and the 3rd grade students have expanded the 3rd grade farming experience with a mini-farm that includes a small horse, goat, and chickens. The corral was expanded by the third grade and other repairs and upgrades were made.




     
  • Mentoring of teachers: Elan Leibner, master Waldorf teacher and editor of the Research Bulletin published by the Research Institute for Waldorf Education, has continued to work with all of our Lower School teachers. In the High School we have engaged mentors or consultants in math and English.




     
  • In-service trainings for faculty on a variety to topics, especially on meeting various learning modalities of students: During in-service meetings our faculty have been provided with training in auditory processing issues in students, executive functioning in students, issues of discrimination and harassment, and emergency procedures.




     
  • Reviews and evaluations of teachers: Our Upper School and Lower School core teams manage and oversee performance reviews and evaluations of faculty members throughout the school. We have set policies and procedures for evaluations that include evaluations done by outside evaluators, and processes for establishing goals for improvement and assessing progress.




     
  • Surveys of High School students to gather input on their experiences of main lessons and track classes: This year we have launched an online survey for High School students to give us feedback on their experiences in both main lessons and track classes. The results of the surveys have been helpful, and are used in part to help mentor teachers, and to assess strengths and weaknesses in the experience we offer the students.




     
  • Expanded Summer Camps and Spring Camp with farming theme: We are providing more opportunity for children to be in a healthy camp experience for nine weeks during the summer, and two weeks of spring break.




     
  • Improvement in our academic support program: Deb Merroth-Ahola, Upper School Core Team Leader, is also our Academic Support Coordinator. Deb has helped us put in place more comprehensive supports for our students in the upper Middle School and High School.




     
  • The College of Teachers reformed this year with goal of pedagogical study and deepening the faculty’s understanding of Waldorf pedagogy. The focus of study this year has been on meeting the needs of today’s children and exploring how we need to make adjustments in our teaching or program. In particular, the College made a study of the development of healthy senses during child development, and how to support that development pedagogically.