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Model Schools contract approved

The Model Schools program will bring immediate changes to Huntsville City Schools this school year.

Posted: Jul 25, 2018 7:34 AM
Updated: Jul 25, 2018 7:48 AM

The Huntsville City School Board approved a three year, more than $800,000 contract that's going to create immediate changes in your child's classroom this school year.

The Model Schools framework focuses on three R's: relationships, relevance, and rigor.

"You can't work at a school, kind of high needs, if you don't understand the relationship component," Tony Woods, Lee High School principal, said.

"Students will have an understanding of why they're actually learning what they're learning," Christie Finley, Huntsville City Schools interim superintendent, said.

"Rigor is not doing five things as opposed to one. Rigor is doing one thing very deeply," Miranda Evans, Lee High School teacher, said.

The program is new to most, but not all.

Lee High School finished laying the two year foundation in May.

Now-principal Tony Woods was assistant principal at the time, and he said, out of the three R's, his school already had strong relationships.

"The model schools really helped us with the rigor and relevance component of it," Woods said.

Those two components were worked into the school's teaching tactics with the help of two permanent coaches.

"It's been beneficial," Woods said.

Model Schools representatives walked the halls of Lee High School for two years to make sure the program rolled out smoothly.

They came alongside teachers to help make education standards relate to real life scenarios.

"We have students who don't see any relevance to their life for school. They're here until they can drop out, so if you can reach those kids you can reach anybody," Evans said.

Evans teaches mostly 9th grade world history at Lee High School.

"I let students find their relevance by letting students decide who they want to research, what topics they're interested in, and then I make it further relevant by having them present their information in some way," Evans said.

That's because she's already experienced the transition to the Model Schools framework.

Evans said the classroom will start to look and feel different once teachers get the hang of the new education approach.

"It's going to look like movement in the classroom, it's going to look like student choice, students to be able to find how information relates to them," Evans said.

Evans added teachers will notice the changes first, and students will likely notice after they return from Christmas break.

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