That’s what prompted me to go look for myself. As I walked around the building with principal Matt Scheibel, I was impressed with everything I saw displayed on the walls. These items weren’t just there to make the building look attractive – they had relevance. Some displays recognized students for achievement and growth. Some recognized students for positive behavior. Other displays showed student work, while others reinforced the behavior expected from students – Wisdom, Achievement, Respect (WARriors).
As we stepped into classrooms, as always, I was very impressed by the learning that was happening. FWCS is no longer a school system where students listen to a lecture then do their homework. In fact, I saw no lecturing happening at all at Kekionga. All students were involved in some kind of learning in a variety of creative ways. Some students were in small groups doing their work collaboratively. Some were using iPads or laptops to complete tasks. Others were engaged in learning how to use a microscope. Some students read quietly to themselves while another student was having an in-depth one on one instruction or discussion with a teacher. Sometimes I saw two adults working with separate groups within the same classroom. Some classrooms had differentiated learning since not all children learn at the same level or at the same pace. But no matter where I was, students were engaged and on task.
Changing the culture of a school – especially one that was rated an “F” – can be a daunting task. I saw nothing about Kekionga that would deem that school as an “F.” Yet the young student I met seemed to take that to heart…and that’s the part that is hard to change. Mr. Scheibel is showing students and teachers alike that there are many successes at Kekionga and, under his leadership, they will find many more. If we could rate a school by enthusiasm, leadership, engagement, and growth, Kekionga is an “A+.” I look forward to the seeing the new culture evolve at Kekionga and seeing the student I met once again proud of all aspects of her school's perceived image.