The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

Why the school committee’s new process for visiting schools is an improvement

Students+work+in+the+library.
Katie Fonden
Students work in the library.

Westford Public Schools is known for being a good school district. However, there is always room for improvement, and in charge of making these changes is the Westford School Committee. They always look to make changes that will positively impact the schools and the education that students who attend them obtain.

At the School Committee meeting on Nov. 20, the Westford School Committee reflected upon their recent visit to WA, which took place on Nov. 15. They have changed their process from previous visits to be in smaller groups, and will be staying for a longer period of time to truly get an understanding of what happens in the classroom.

To understand a classroom dynamic involves more than a quick two to three minute visit. I liked how they structured this visit: a smaller group which spent 15 to 20 minutes in each classroom. This allowed for the committee members to not only get an understanding of what the lesson is and how students are reacting to it, but also see which areas of learning need improvement and which are succeeding.

“Just peeking into a classroom for 30 seconds as a group of seven or eight or nine […] doesn’t [teach us] as much as that opportunity to sit in the classroom for 15 minutes as a smaller group,” school committee member Chris Sanders said at the school committee meeting on Nov. 20th.

I believe that these visits are valuable because they allow committee members to see how classes are run at each grade level, and to figure out what improvements need to be made. While the old format allowed for this, the new one will drastically improve these results. It will greatly increase the committee members’ understanding of the classrooms and will allow for necessary refinements to be made in the future.

If committee members enter a classroom and the students are alert and paying attention, that likely means that they are invested in the curriculum being taught, thus being an aspect of learning that is succeeding. This would allow for their focus to be spent elsewhere such as in classrooms where students look bored or are not paying attention to the material. That situation would call for improvements in the curriculum to make it more engaging and interactive for students, therefore enhancing learning.

Being invested in the curriculum at hand is crucial for learning. If a student finds the material boring or dull, they are more likely to not pay attention and lose focus, which could lead to grades dropping. On the other hand, if a student finds the material interesting and wants to go to class everyday to continue learning about the topic, they are more likely to be invested in the class and listen to the material being covered, leading to achieving better grades.

However, there are a few downsides to this. If the school committee were to come into a class and the students are bored, the energy of the class will inevitably shift to look like they are paying attention and are focused because they are being watched by someone other than their teacher. This could lead to false results pertaining to which areas of learning need improvement.

Also, it puts pressure on the teachers to be at their best. Maybe the class that the school committee walks into is being taught by a teacher who is having a bad day or is tired. That could also skew their results.

Overall, if the school committee were to spend more time in the classroom, this would be a great way to see how well the education system is working and would help better WPS overall.

Read more about the Nov. 20 school committee meeting here.

You can reach out to the school committee at school-committee@westfordma.gov or speak at school committee meetings if you have anything you want to bring to their attention. You can also reach out to the Student Advisory Committee, which is led by senior Mysha Khan.

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About the Contributors
Jack Zwirn, Managing Editor
Hey! I am a senior at Westford Academy and this is my third year as a member of the Ghostwriter, and my second as an editor. I joined the Ghostwriter because I want to go into the sports field to report on top stories throughout the sports world, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to start. I was right! Outside of school, I love to hang out with friends/family, practice karate, and watch sports like baseball, football, and NASCAR.
Katie Fonden, Photography Editor
Hi, I’m Katie and I’m a sophomore at WA. I enjoy reading, art, music, and taking pictures for fun. I’m excited to be the photography editor in my second year as part of the Ghostwriter!

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