BOE discusses 2025 initiative

The BOE convened on Monday, May 20 to discuss the Westport 2025 initiative and the district’s goals for the upcoming year.

The meeting’s primary focus was a presentation by Director of Secondary Education Lisbeth Comm, Director of Human Resources Marge Cion and co-founder of the Teacher’s College of Columbia University’s Studies in Education Innovation program Deb Sawch about the global collaboration element of the 2025 initiative, a district-wide attempt to better equip Westport students for success in the 21st century. The presentation centered on Westport’s planned collaboration with the Hwa Chong Institution in Singapore next year.

“Both Westport and Hwa Chong hope to develop global citizens and global leaders. We have much to learn from each other,” said Comm.

Potential collaborations between the Westport school district and Hwa Chong include student and teacher exchanges and joint curricular efforts. Earlier this school year, 15 Staples students received an email describing the possibility of studying abroad in Singapore.

Additionally, Sawch discussed how elementary school students are benefitting from the 2025 curriculum, which emphasizes persuasive writing at a young age.

“They’re learning collaboration, critical thinking, communication skills—all in the first grade,” said Sawch.
After the presentation on 2025 ended, the BOE spent the rest of the meeting discussing potential projects to explore before the beginning of the next school year.

Board member Michael Gordon suggested taking a look at the school system in Madison, Conn., which is not following the Common Core to protest a new law that ties teacher evaluations to standardized test scores.

The BOE also discussed looking into neighboring Wilton’s approach to school start times. Unlike in Westport, middle and high schools in Wilton have a later start time than elementary schools.