Napa Valley Patch
American Canyon Middle School (ACMS) has been awarded the distinction of ‘National Demonstration Site’ in the New Tech Network of nearly 200 schools. ACMS has demonstrated successful implementation of standards-based Project Based Learning (PBL), deep integration and use of technology, so that all students gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life, college and the careers of tomorrow.
To receive this distinction, ACMS developed a vision about their purpose for becoming a demonstration site, provided evidence that reflects the staff’s collective approaches to understanding and responding to the learning needs of students, with a clear set of student learning outcomes consistent with skill required to succeed in college and career life. These include content mastery tied to state standards as well as growth mindset, collaboration, critical thinking and oral and written communication.
The staff at ACMS are passionate and willing to share what they have learned over the past six years as an NTN school. A collective approach to technology infused PBL/PrBL and teacher collaboration has led to high levels of student engagement and achievement.
A key factor in developing high quality projects is the schools’ professional learning community (PLC) model. This structured process includes time for project planning, looking at student work and responsive professional learning aligned with district goals.
Our intentionally designed professional learning communities enable us to successfully onboard new staff members to quickly implement high quality, standards-based PBL/PrBL in a peer supported environment. The results are authentic, rigorous projects that challenge students to think critically, be innovative, creative, and connected to our local and global community. Using student performance results combined with Friendly Feedback and Visible Learning Walks, we have created a school learning culture that is engaging for adults and students.
As Principal Dan Scudero stated, ” Our staff is committed to taking the next steps based on student need. We want our students engaged in authentic work so they are prepared for high school, college and career. ”