The long-awaited return of students to Adairville School was met with lots of excitement and lots of ideas. After the unprecedented and unpredictable 2020-2021 school year, teachers were ready to do school differently. Like Adairville School has done so many times over the years, we have reinvented our school to be the best place possible for students.
The 2020-2021 school year was definitely the most challenging and stressful year on record. However, with kids now back in school five days a week, teachers at Adairville School are not seeking to return to “normal;” they have their eyes fixed on the future. “This pandemic can be seen as an obstacle that prevents us from growing, or it can be seen as a place to pivot, pointing us in a direction we really need to go anyway,” said Principal Lori Bouldin. “We are not looking at the last 18 months as a bump in the road...it’s a portal--a doorway, if you will--into a new era in education.” Online platforms, self-paced learning, and remote instruction will continue to be a part of what teachers do at Adairville School each day. “Our attitude is future-focused. We want to prepare students for the world they will live and work in--not the world we grew up in,” said Bouldin.
Adairville School kicked off their 2021-2022 school year with a back-to-school night and a travel theme: “Destination: Deeper Learning--Adventure Awaits!” Upon entering the school, families received a “passport” to be stamped at each location throughout the school. Students had the opportunity to visit their homeroom teacher, but also a number of stations to prepare them for the school year ahead. “This year is going to be an adventure, no doubt, and we are excited about the possibilities!” said Cindy Beason, Assistant Principal.
New Approach to Learning
Like all schools, Adairville must address some significant learning challenges due to COVID-19. Our plan does not involve more information, but more experiences. With Project Lead the Way plugged into primary grades and Summit’s project-based learning stacked into grades 4-8, students are involved in a variety of deep, authentic, hands-on activities. “We want students to acquire the cognitive skills to solve real-world problems,” said Jennifer Jenkins, middle school social studies teacher. “That happens through better, more intentional instruction--not just more content.”
It’s not just outstanding academic performance that gets recognized at Adairville School; it’s superior soft skills that are celebrated. Students who bring their best, do the right thing, and are kind to others are “sent to the office” and recognized as a “Cool Cardinal.” Teachers also keep a close eye out for the 21st-century skills identified in the Logan County Profile of Success: being a good collaborator, a good communicator, an innovator, an empowered learner, and a global citizen. Students who excel in these competencies are “Cardinals of the Month,” and receive a Sonic slushie. Both awards develop self-awareness and self-regulation in students.
Since students have to wear masks at school, teachers are always looking for a creative way to take a mask break. Thanks to Kyle and Lauren Wetton, a new GaGa Ball Pit was installed outside the gym to give students a fun way to play together. Bright red tents allow teachers to have class outdoors whenever they choose. The out-of-the-ordinary makes each day extraordinary at Adairville School.
Adairville School takes pride in changing with the times; however, there’s a lot about this school that remains the same-- our commitment to excellence and our love for kids is always constant.
Article by Lori Bouldin, Principal of Adairville School