The Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) has released its 21st annual VSBA Showcases for Success directory, highlighting successful K-12 programs in Virginia’s public schools. Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School is one of 56 school divisions from across the Commonwealth that has programs featured in the directory. Walker’s programs are:
Program 1: Foundations of Independent Research and Communications (FIRC)
Required of all ninth grade students FIRC is the first step in a research and writing progression that culminates with the senior seminar/mentorship capstone project and presentation. Research and writing are emphasized and demonstrated in all courses, including culminating projects in Chemistry, Global Studies 10, and American Literature/AP English Language and Composition. This course provides students with the skills to conduct independent research. The four core components of the course are taught by an interdisciplinary team of instructors from mathematics, science, language arts, and global studies. The course is designed to prepare students to succeed in a rigorous academic program, be independent learners, use effective research skills, think critically and solve problems creatively, use technology in a rapidly changing technological environment, work effectively in teams, and communicate effectively in written, oral, and visual formats.
Program 2: Student Generated Curriculum for Elective Credit
The MLWGS “Student Generated Curriculum” (SGC) is the MLWGS independent study process that is designed for rising seniors who have completed all of the course work offered at MLWGS in a discipline in which they have a special interest or talent. To be considered for an SGC, the student must have the recommendation of his or her counselor and the Department Chairperson and/or a teacher that the SGC is the appropriate learning opportunity for the student in the particular discipline. At the current time, teachers serve as advisors on a voluntary basis in addition to their scheduled teaching and sponsorship activities. Consequently, the number of students who may participate in an SGC in a given year is very limited. It is the student’s responsibility to create the SGC proposal with guidance from the Assistant Director, Curriculum and Instruction and the teacher advisor. Some SGC proposals may also include the involvement of a mentor within the professional community. The proposal must specify the time span over which the SCG will be implemented (fall semester, spring semester, or year) and the amount of credit being requested (1/2 credit or 1 credit).
The full VSBA Showcases for Success directory is available at www.vsba.org/showcases. It includes division-wide programs, as well as those at elementary, middle, and high school levels. Featured programs highlight successful programs related to Innovative Programs, School Initiatives, and Partnerships.
About the Virginia School Boards Association
Virginia School Boards Association, a voluntary, nonpartisan organization of Virginia school boards, promotes excellence in public education through leadership, advocacy, and services. The Association offers conferences, information, training, and counseling designed to meet the needs of the Commonwealth’s educational leaders.