School is back in session

Classes have resumed for the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District and Shawn Dutkiewicz, principal at Chadds Ford elementary is eager for the new academic year. He said a focus this year is on enhancing students’ social and emotional growth, but also on increasing the quality and quantity of STEM, science, technology, engineering and math.

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“A morning meeting is intended to foster strong positive relationships amongst all members of the classroom,” he said. “The meeting time allows students to share things about themselves, celebrate things happening in students' lives and in the classroom, build teamwork skills, and resolve any emergent issues that may arise. Additionally, our staff developed a problem-solving approach intended to support students as they work through challenges and mediate disagreements with peers.”

He said there’s a four-step approach in which “the class is able to model and role play scenarios to best understand and apply the steps.”

He also said there’s excitement about implementing personal growth journals used in classrooms. The journals “help to connect many of the social-emotional initiatives that we do at Chadds Ford while providing students with time to reflect about their own learning.”

On the STEM side, Dutkiewicz said, teachers created a curriculum bridge during the summer and each class will have new lessons to work on. There’s also a makeover in the tech lab. The school is moving away from single-user computer stations to what he called “ a more progressive format that is focused on collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking.”

There’s also going to be an outside STEM area and greenhouse set up with help from Longwood Gardens.

“So, we begin another school year with a sense of excitement for all of the new things to come,” he said.

 

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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