FOWLER — The Kansas State Board of Education has formally approved a "redesign" plan for Fowler USD 225 schools.

A team of administrators, teachers, school board members and students made their way to Topeka to explain the major components of redesign and how Fowler has created a new system of education that puts students at the center of every decision.

"We believe that all students need to be treated as individuals, and that they all need adults that love and care for them," said Fowler K-12 principal Corri McDowell. "We spend a lot of time getting to know our students and their families and find ways to make their learning personal to them."

The mentoring program is one of the major components of the redesign that has each sixth-12th grade student assigned a teacher-mentor who meets with them weekly one-on-one to discuss their educational progress, activities and any other issues they may be facing.

The redesign also focuses on real-life projects being incorporated into the daily agenda.

"At Fowler, we have opportunities like overnight field trips and putting our own ideas into action," said Fowler fifth-grader Michah, who also presented to the Kansas board. "I enjoy my leadership role that I have."

Fourth-grader Jayden, who also presented to the Kansas board, added, "I like that we have STEM lab and project based learning because they are another way to build creativity, stretch my mind, and let me be me. The education at Fowler is beyond belief."

With the mindset that all students can learn, students are also allowed freedom and flexibility to move through material at their own pace and, if they have different needs, some may take more time to learn the material and some may take less time.

Having systems that create choices for students in place, Fowler is able to accommodate for both sets of students, and it helps create a rigorous but meaningful path that parents, teachers and students work together to design.

"At Fowler, we have not just changed the way schools are run, putting more focus on student needs, but it is the total cultural change of a school district that has our students excited, motivated and engaged at a level not previously seen," said Fowler USD 225 superintendent Jeff Bollinger.

To see how Fowler USD 225 has changed education for students, contact them for a tour of the school at 620-646-5234.

Out-of-district students who wish to attend next school year are encouraged to tour the facilities and apply early.

 

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.