W. T. Chipman Middle Hits a Home Run for Special Education.
When Doug Brown started his first job as a principal at W. T. Chipman Middle school, he knew that he, like all other principals, had a lot of work ahead of him. As a principal, it is his responsibility to set a course for the school academically, and to know how to get things done – not an easy job when you also have to run school operations and address urgent, unplanned events throughout the day. Through the Vision Network, Mr. Brown has acquired more tools to help him focus his energy and realize his vision for Chipman.
“Vision Network schools are more focused,” according to Mr. Brown. “I am fortunate to have a very strong leadership team, and the Network made them even stronger by providing years’ worth of knowledge to help us reach our goals.”
This past year, Mr. Brown, with guidance from Vision Network thought partners, analyzed data that helped clearly identify “special education” as an area in which Chipman was falling behind. Something had to be done, so working with his Vision Network thought partner and his leadership team, Mr. Brown devised a creative plan.
“We created a baseball team where each student is a player and each student has his or her own baseball card,” explained Mr. Brown. The cards which are made for students who have demonstrated academic difficulty contain the students’ “player stats” on how well the students are doing in different subjects. This allows teachers to better understand students’ needs and enables them to better meet these needs. This not only gives teachers valuable information on the children they teach, but also creates a fun learning environment. Teachers wear baseball jerseys, which further underscores the theme and builds energy and excitement around it. Mr. Brown and other educators at Chipman are very proud of their students’ new excitement about learning.
Mr. Brown says that the Vision Network was his greatest asset during his first year of school leadership. “We should be working together across the state to share ideas and make education better, and the Vision Network makes this possible.”