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S.T.E.P.S. (Summer Transitional Education Program for Success) A STEM/Service Learning Program


  • Project TitleS.T.E.P.S.
    (Summer Transitional Education Program for Success)
    A STEM/Service Learning Program
  •  /project394_878/IMG_1201_zpsb75dd93e.jpg
  • ThemeService-Learning
    Social-Emotional Growth
    Career Exploration
    STEM Research

    View/Download File: /project394_878/Planning A Service-2.docx

  • Submitted ByMolly Meczywor
    Sara Luczynski
  • OrganizationDrury High School
  • Brief DescriptionThe STEPS program is designed to assist 8th graders as they transition into 9th grade/Drury High School. Students are invited to attend based on MCAS scores, social-emotional needs, attendance factors or all of the above. The curriculum, with a focus on academic integrity and social-emotional skills, is rigorous and asks students to critically think, respond, read, observe, analyze and present.
    The curriculum is based on Cathy Berger Kaye`s Strategies for Success binder and also depends a great deal on SErvice-Learning as a teaching/learning tool. Finally, students are exposed to college requirements as well as career exploration. The program ends with a final trip - this year to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play Tampa Bay in the Dunkin` Dugout section - and a STEPS Celebration which brings together students and their families to recognize student achievement and growth.
  • Materials / ResourcesThe attached documents are provided to all students at the beginning of the program so they all know requirements on the first day.

    View/Download File: /project394_878/2013 STEPS

    View/Download File: /project394_878/STEPS Calendar 2013 - new.docx

    View/Download File: /project394_878/STEPS REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION.docx

    View/Download File: /project394_878/STEPS Final project instructions.docx

    View/Download File: /project394_878/STEPS Service Project BINGO.docx

  • Team membersMolly Meczywor, ELA Teacher
    Sara Luczynski, ELA Teacher
    Donna Sadlowski, Math Teacher
    Brad Botto, Math Teacher
    Max Quinn, Teacher Assistant
    Ryan Biros, Teacher Assistant
    Jennifer Munoz, Growing Healthy Garden Partner
    Jaime Hamilton, Guidance Counselor
    Michele Boyer-Vivori, Career Specialist
    Stephanie Burdick, 21st Century Teacher
  • Pre-requisite knowledgeThere is no prior knowledge needed to participate in this program.
  • Technical support neededStudents need access to computers to work on Mastery Assessments, conduct research and develop contact with outside community organizations.
  • Any modifications or extensions for particular student populations?Students with IEP`s are awarded extra time if necessary. One student with Autism was exempted from the final project.

Key Questions

  • Key QuestionsWhat is community?
    How do students take ownership of community needs?
    What is STEM? How do we get kids more involved in STEM initiatives?
    What is reseach?
    What is effective thinking?
    What are the characteristics of a successful learner?
  • Connections: How or why was this topic identified? Why is it meaningful?This is the 6th year of the program, but the same needs continue to manifest with 8th grade students. This project is meaningful because it allows these students to develop ownership and strong connections to school and outside community. The result of this program includes an increase in engagement as well as ownership of their educational paths.
  • Background Research: What resources were used to find background information for this project?The main resources are MCAS scores and 8th grade performance. Data suggests the same students are tagged as `high risk` students for drop out, repeated failure, and lack of development of 21st century skills.
  • Outcomes: What was the outcome? How was it shared or applied in the community?Our prime and most proud outcome was our 100% completion rate. This is the first year out of the 6 that we have had this rate. In addition, students acquired the mindset necessary to embrace academic challenges.

    In addition, many students commented on the impact of the program. There were 6 community projects completed: Animal Advocacy, Water Safety/Testing/Conservation, Park Clean-up, Improvement of School lunches, and Recycling.
  • Family: Any opportunities to involve parent/guardians and other family members in this project?Family members were invited to attend the STEPS Celebration which took place on the last day of class. This celebration is meant to honor and award students for their hard work and achievement.
    Parent outreach is a crucial element of the program in order to motivate students to attend school, engage in activities and complete requirements.

Units / Activities

  • Day 1What is STEPS? (45 minutes)
    Build-A-Learner (1 hour)
    Quote Activity (45 minutes)
    Active Listening (45 minutes)
    Letter: Goals for the program (1 hour)
    Cathy Berger Kaye`s Strategies for Success curriculum

    View/Download File: /project394_878/2013 STEPS

    View/Download File: /project394_878/STEPS Calendar 2013 - new.docx

  • Day 2Class Agreements (1 hour 30 minutes) - Students take ownership of the program by establishing together class agreements
    Personal Inventory (1 hour) - Students analyze how they learn.
    What is community? (2 hours) Observation of North Adams Community - data will be used as part of STEM piece to develop skills with fractions, statistics, bar graphs and data.
    Cathy Berger Kay`s curriculum
  • Day 3How can my community help with my career?
    MCLA tour (2 hours)
    Career Personal Inventory - SDS survey
    Cathy Berger Kaye`s curriculum
  • Day 4How do I think? (1 hour) - Students begin the study of effective thinking
    School Tour (1 hour) - Students tour the school looking for specific details.
    Analysis of Data (2 hours) - Students take all of the data collected over the first three days to make a bar graph representing their community - business, school and
    Cathy Berger Kaye`s curriculum
  • Day 5Career RoundTable Discussion - 7 local graduates of Drury come to speak to STEPS about career exploration.
    Mastery Assessment 1 - Creation of a bar graph using observation data
    Cathy Berger Kaye`s curriculum
  • Day 6How do I think? (1 hour) Effective Thinking Part II - failing to succeed
    Speaker - Nutritionist from North Adams Regional Hospital talks about needs (1.5 hours)
    Looking at the Data and Taking action in our Community - Going Blue - Discussion
    After lunch (1 hour)Point of View - ToeStomper and the Caterpillars
    Cathy Berger Kaye`s curriculum ToeStomper and Caterpillars books
  • Day 7Who is Helping Lesson (1 hour) - Looking at community and deciding who our partners will be
    INVESTIGATION: Speakers arrive to pair for S-L projects (garden, water quality, school food service director, principal) (2 hours) Students create questions and discuss possible solutions to problems
    After lunch (1 hour) Response-Ability
    Cathy Berger Kaye`s curriculum

    View/Download File: /project394_878/Survey for observation.docx

  • Day 8Speaking in Class (1 hour) Discuss the importance of involvement in classrooms.
    INVESTIGATION: Students present their projects to the class and provide feedback in the form of questions. (2 hours)
    After Lunch (1hour) - Using quotes from quote activity, create invitations for Service Fair
    Cathy Berger Kaye`s curriculum
  • Day 9Conflict - (1 hour) - The Summer My Father Was Ten - how does conflict affect our performance in the classroom? Discussion and binder work
    Service groups..PREPARE (2 hours) - students are working in groups to solve problems, perform service
    After lunch (1 hour) - Creation of community mural for Service Fair
    Cathy Berger Kaye`s curriculum The Summer My Father Was Ten books
  • Day 10Profiles in Leadership (1 hour) - Build-A-Leader activity - draw what an ideal leader looks like
    Service Work..ACT (2 hours) - Students work in groups to act
    After Lunch - (1 hour) Rhetorical Poster
    Cathy Berger Kaye`s curriculum Laptops for posters
  • Day 11ACT: Students complete Service Learning Projects at Drury our out in community (3 hours)
    After lunch - (1 hour)
    Vans for travel
  • Day 12REFLECT: Students begin the process of reflecting on the summer curriculum (four square reflection) as well as Service Projects. Students write thank you notes to community partners to discuss contributions and outcomes.
    After lunch - (1 hour) Writing skills for life - writing a letter to your 9th grade teacher
    Cathy Berger Kay`s curriculum
  • Day 13Final Projects - Students begin final projects
    After lunch - (1 hour) How do I know I made a difference
    See assessment tab to review final project assignment sheet.
  • Day 14Final Projects - Students have the day to complete their final projects which include mastery assessments and work to display at Service FairCathy Berger Kaye`s curriculum Art materials for mural
  • Service Fair 6-8 pm in LibraryStudents and parents come together to celebrate the work of the summer. Awards are presented for attendance, completion, and leadershipCake and drinks for celebration Awards PPT of program to show to parents/students

Instructional Techniques

  • RedirectionUsed by teachers and assistants to explicitly request that students engage on the task at hand, or in more positive behaviors.
  • Active ListeningStudents are taught the elements of Active Listening and how important these skills are in the classroom.
  • Direct InstructionStudents were given direct instruction in both large and small groups. Direct instruction was required for many of the lessons in the social-emotional sections of our curriculum, as well as when students were gaining an understanding of the components of an effective service-learning project.
  • Group DiscussionStudents engaged daily in groups discussion, in both large and small group settings. Groups discussions were used daily for: agenda and goal setting, processing and reflecting on ideas, brainstorming, planning and interviewing.
  • Student Centered LearningStudent Centered Learning was a major instructional component to our program. Students were encouraged and often required to devise their own strategies for discussing, processing and developing ideas and projects. The beginning of the program asks students to identify ways that they struggled and ways that they could become effective learners. Allowing for student centered learning gave the students the opportunity to practice and develop these skills.
  • Project Based LearningEvery student in the program played an active role in developing and implementing a service learning project. Students learned about the various aspects of their project, as well as the projects being completed by other students in the program. Students planned, solved problems, worked collaboratively and managed time effectively while working on their projects.
  • ResearchStudents were required to do research for various reasons. Part of the curriculum used included a lesson on how research was "not just Google". Students were required to gather information from surveys, interviews, action research and media sources, as well as through the internet. These research skills were used during service learning projects to learn about: their local water shed and water pollution, feral animals in Berkshire County, school lunch programs, local food needs, careers and more.
  • ReflectionStudents were constantly asked to reflect on the experiences that they had during the program. Students were asked to reflect on their behavior and performance in the previous school year, their action research experiences, interviews and on the outcome of their service learning project as a whole.

Assessment Techniques

  • Teacher ObservationStaff observe students to ensure they are on task. Staff regularly use redirection and personal conversations to get students back on track and up to date with assignments.
  • Class DiscussionThroughout the day, students will be asked to participate in class discussions relating to curriculum work in binder as well as for preparations for Service Projects. Staff will also participate to ensure students are active and engaged.
  • Formative AssessmentsUsing the curriculum binder, students will complete daily activities which will be either graded or used as reflection.
  • Mastery AssessmentsBased on the chosen Common Core standards, the attached assignments are to demonstrate mastery of standards.

    View/Download File: /project394_878/STEPS Final project instructions.docx

    View/Download File: /project394_878/MA3 Analysis of Data.doc

  • PresentationsA variety of presentations will be used to assess student growth. Staff will observe table presentations and give feedback to tables; students will present Service Projects and listen for feedback from the class; and students will present their final projects to the class for a final grade.

Frameworks / Skills

  • English Language Arts
    Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    (English Language Arts)
  • math
    Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving the four operations with rational numbers. [Note: Computations with rational numbers extend the rules for manipulating fractions to complex fractions.]
  • math
    Graph proportional relationships, interpreting the unit rate as the slope of the graph. Compare two different proportional relationships represented in different ways. For example, compare a distance-time graph to a distance-time equation to determine whi
  • math
    Understand that a function is a rule that assigns to each input exactly one output. The graph of a function is the set of ordered pairs consisting of an input and the corresponding output. [Note: Function notation is not required in grade 8.]
  • math
    Compare properties of two functions each represented in a different way (algebraically, graphically, numerically in tables, or by verbal descriptions). For example, given a linear function represented by a table of values and a linear function represented
  • math
    Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear). Sketch a graph that exhibits the qualitative features of a function that has been d

Tags = service-learning | Subject = ELA, Mathematics, Science, Technology, CVTE, Service_Learning | Grade Level = MS, HS | Time Period = Summer | Program/Funding = 619/592 |
Direct website link to this project: