Visions for Morgan

Written by Amanda Garbinski |

On Monday November 11,   Andrea Reu, President of the PTA, led a meeting in the Morgan School Learning Commons. She started the meeting with acknowledgments and the announcement of the new “video camera” which would be recording the meeting for parents who could not attend. Next, the meeting held a vote on the budget.  After looking over a sheet of all the expenses and the current cash balance, the budget for the 2013-2014 school year was approved by a simple hand vote.

After taking care of the business, The Morgan School program chairs were introduced.  Before the meeting, each teacher was sent a list of questions to prepare answers to for this presentation.

Mr. Luther, science department chair, of course added much humor to his speech.  He explained how the science program at Morgan is REAL SCIENCE, and the classrooms focus on hands-on activities, such as labs and outdoor classrooms.  Science teachers use many other tools to try to  expand a student’s learning and understanding of science.

Mrs. Luther, head of the world language department, explained how she loves the women she works with. Their collaborative discussions during lunch help them all because they try to better prepare the students.  One accomplishment she feels is great is the introduction of an AP Spanish course for Spanish 5 students this year. Her hope for the future is that in addition to offering Spanish as a K-12 program, other languages are also offered from  kindergarten through high school.

Mr Motter, head of the social studies department, explained how the variety of classes makes a difference in the students’  lives.  From Contemporary Issues to AP US History,  social studies offers a variety of different elective courses.  Mr. Motter also announced the offering of a new course during the 2014-15 school year,  AP Government and Politics.

Mr. Serenbitz, department chair for the English department, had a great deal to say about student collaboration and the new junior portfolio graduation requirement.  He explained how students in their English classes “bounce ideas off of one another” instead of just sitting in desks and listening to a teacher’s lecture.  He also went into depth about the 7 skills or criteria for the junior portfolio and how this concept focuses on the students’ ability to reflect back on their work and confidently present their material to a panel of adults.

Mr. Samet, mathematics chair, started his speech with a story of his daughter and how she was a product of The Morgan School. He explained how his day is highlighted by the great students here. Mr. Samet continued to describe how the technology of our Smart Boards and even our calculators are enabling students to learn such a wide variety of math more in depth than previous generations including their parents.

Next  Mr. Cole, department chair of family and consumer sciences and business education, led the discussion to connect how academics are applied to everyday life.  His department focuses on students choosing a college career through the classes of automotive, family consumer science and accounting. The courses allow students to solve their own problems in authentic and theoretic application.

Lastly, Ms, DeBerardinis, department chair of student resources, described how much her department has changed in the years she has been working at Morgan.  She explained how in the beginning, students with different disabilities were just sent to her so she could “get rid of a problem”.  Instead of just allowing students to pull through and throwing them onto the stage at graduation, she has reared her students in the right direction for their own application after high school.  Through job opportunities  and different independence tools, she has opened the cave of her department and allowed her students to succeed outside of high school and/or college.

The meeting informed all who attended about the intentions  of each teacher and department.  Not only have teachers set goals for themselves and their students, but they have overcome many obstacles to better the learning environment at Morgan.  All the teachers were asked about the new school and how the new Morgan will affect the learning of the students.  All department chairs replied in a similarly.  The “greatness” at Morgan now will be carried to a better and more fitting environment, allowing more growth for each department.

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