Willie E. Thompson Middle School and Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw, Michigan, were among the 28 schools in the state to receive School Improvement Grant (SIG) money from the Recovery Act of 2009.
In Brenda Álvarez’ article published by the National Education Association (NEA), Leann Bauer, president of the Saginaw Education Association, is quoted as saying, “We’re committed to providing quality education for every student. The resources we’ve received so far have allowed us to strengthen our practice and lead us in a direction that is more student-centered.”
EDWorks has been partnering with Willie E. Thompson Middle School and Arthur Hill High School, both New Start schools, to help meet that goal of quality education. Norman Siebenhar and Larry Mumford, EDWorks Technical Assistance Coaches, have been working with the team at Willie E. Thompson Middle School. “We’ve been focusing on professional development with an emphasis on the teaching and learning process,” Siebenhar said.
Siebenhar has seen success from increased use of high-payoff instructional strategies, especially literacy, and administrators assuming an active role as educational leaders.
At Arthur Hill High School, students are attending interest-based academies based on EDWorks models. “There are two academies,” explained Judythe Hummel, an EDWorks Technical Assistance coach. “One has a STEM focus while the other fosters innovation. Our goal is to support the students and helps them pursue their interests.”
Middle school students have been visiting the academies, setting them on a pathway for high school success.
“Saginaw’s economic realities are harsh, but those realities are not housed within Thompson or Arthur Hill,” said Álvarez in her NEA article. “The days of teachers versus school administrators are gone, and everyone is working collaboratively to create a learning environment that will not just help students, but will pull Saginaw out of further decline through a strong and educated workforce.”