Dumbarton is a BCPS Lighthouse School and a National Blue Ribbon school. We have high expectations for student achievement which we believe will prepare them for college and career. Teachers plan rigorous and engaging lessons that capture student interest requiring the use of critical thinking skills to solve real-world problems. In the 2016-2017 school year, DMS 6th and 7th graders will be issued a BCPS Revolve Laptop for home and school use. As a Lighthouse school, we are leading the way with student-centered learning that includes blended learning, personalizing instruction, promoting student choice and providing flexible classroom spaces. All of these efforts are enhanced by digital learning opportunities both in the classroom and at home. Each year, parents will have an opportunity to meet with school administrators to ask questions and clarify expectations regarding the laptops. All high-school students are scheduled to receive devices in 2017-2018 school year.
As a staff we’ve engage in numerous book studies include reading Mindsets in the Classroom by Mary Cay Ricci. The author notes that students with a fixed mindset often give up at the first sign of a challenge or possible failure. Adults can provide the encouragement they need to continue to persevere through tough assignments. In addition, educators can ensure students have opportunities to grapple with their learning in order to increase their resiliency through determination and creative thinking. The author notes that we are all born learners and even as toddlers we know we can grow and improve as evidenced by the tenacity little children show. By middle school, students begin to fear they are not smart when the tasks become more challenging and require analytical thought. Children sometimes don’t want to take a chance on getting an answer wrong and tend to believe that smart people never get answers wrong. Realizing that even very successful people have failed at times yet continued to strive to accomplish a demanding task is very important. We strive to use language in classrooms that support a growth mindset so students know that they can achieve at high levels even when the going gets tough!
In addition, the book, Grading Smarter, Not Harder by Dueck, has been our focus recently as BCPS adjusts Grading Policies. BCPS One is the electronic system that parents and students use to access track student performance using the same access codes each year. Please see the BCPS website for more information.
As you know, your attention to your child’s academic achievement is essential and we are committed to ensuring that you have accurate information as the year progresses.