Sheffield Lake/Sheffield Village

By John Edwards

Superintendent Mike Cook told the Sheffield-Sheffield Lake Board of Education (BOE) that the High Schools That Work (HSTW) organization has asked the school district to pilot the first-ever Elementary Schools That Work program at Brookside Intermediate School (BIS.) Brookside High School (BHS) teachers voted to adopt the HSTW program of raising student expectations and rigorous academic work in 1999.

The HSTW model requires increased interaction and communication among the teachers on staff, leading to better coordination of teachers, leading to more logical progression of subject matter between grade levels. The board’s approval of the HSTW program included daily periods where teachers may cooperate in improving standards and coordinating their approach and techniques to teach more effectively

Since the BHS faculty and administrators adopted the HSTW model it has proven itself effective and has led to multiple, consecutive “Excellent School” ratings by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), higher test scores and student achievement, improved attendance figures and graduation rates.

A decade later, on Nov. 16, 2009 the school board unanimously approved Sheffield Middle School’s participation in the Making Middle Grades Work (MMGW) program. MMGW is a “companion” program for middle schools from HSTW, also predicated on the belief that raising expectations and increasing rigor will result in students embracing the higher standards and rising to the challenge of meeting higher expectations. Using the MMGW approach produced similar results, including Sheffield Middle School’s first-ever “Effective” and then “Excellent School” ratings from ODE, and the MMGW approach has been moved into Brookside Middle School along with the students, faculty and administrators.

“We’ve been involved with High Schools That Work for what seems like forever,” Cook said at the board meeting. “I’m sure that’s one reason we’ve been asked to pilot the elementary school program, along with having moved our third- through sixth-graders into Brookside Intermediate School, which facilitates the required cooperation of teachers on curriculum matters and more. Being together in the same building makes it easier for the teachers to meet together than when they were teaching in separate buildings. At any rate, they’ve asked us to pilot this program and we’ll begin to work on the concept soon.”

District Treasurer Joshua Hill told the school board that he would present his most recent five-year financial forecast to them at their next regular meeting, on Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. in the BHS Media Center. Board member Sheila Lopez thanked fellow member Lisa Miller for posting photos from football, boys and girls soccer and volleyball games and cross-country meets on the district’s athletic web site. Lopez noted that the PAC Stars boys’ soccer tournament (dates and times to be announced) will be played at Sevits Stadium this fall. Lopez also announced that the seventh-grade volleyball team posted a 7-3 record this season while the eighth-grade girls posted a 10-4 record.

Mr. Cook announced that Chris Bodzenta won the 2014 Chevy Sonic, donated by Joe Firment Chevrolet in Avon, that was raffled off at halftime of the BHS Homecoming football game (in which the Cardinals defeated Keystone 7-6.)

Contact John Edwards at news@2presspapers.com

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