7th Grade Watershed Integrated Program
Format: Full-Day Integrated Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science Program. Students also take Math, a World Language class, and PE/Health.
Description: Mark Springer and Ed Silcox created the nationally and internationally recognized Watershed Program in 1987. Skills and concepts are integrated around the comprehensive study of a local watershed through a combination of classroom activities and site visits. Students are encouraged to gather, retain, interrelate, apply, and communicate first-hand information about watersheds with special emphasis on what it means to live sustainably in the 21st century. The ultimate goal of the Watershed Program is to foster a positive sense of self within each student to be a responsible member of a vibrant close community of learners who can enjoy and learn from each other and their teachers. Watershed students are encouraged to set goals, to take pride in their work and accomplishments as they accept both the academic as well as the social challenges of middle school. Ongoing formative assessment is rubric-driven and reported in narrative format on a regular and continuous basis. Watershed is not a “leveled” course. Instead, teachers differentiate instruction on reading, writing, and thinking tasks as appropriate to meet individual student’s needs. As each year comes to a close, students are asked to leave their personal footprint on the local/global community. Students conduct in-depth research projects on watershed-related topics and present their experiences and findings at various local, state, and community conferences and open houses.