CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clintondale High School junior Cain McMillan has found the right balance of academics and extracurricular activities at school.
His grades are up, and he is enjoying his high school experience playing football, bowling, participating in Quiz Bowl and Science Olympiad, and more.
One reason the high schooler has found his niche is because of the school’s flipped model of instruction, which allows students to receive their teachers’ lectures at home via videos and then do their homework in class. The program allows students to ask questions while they are doing their course work in class and also provides more personalized instruction. Class time is designed to engage students to develop critical analysis and higher-order thinking skills. According to school officials, the flipped model of instruction has been recognized internationally.
“I feel it is very successful. You have a lot of opportunities with the flipped model,” McMillan said. “I don’t feel like it’s hard at all. It’s balancing everything, and I still have time to learn. You can balance doing the (extracurriculars) and maintain a good grade.”
McMillan was among several CHS students who shared their experiences during the school’s open house held the evening of April 23. Those in attendance had the opportunity to meet Principal Greg Green, Assistant Principal Meloney Cargill and ninth-grade Director Dawn Sanchez; talk with students; view various classrooms and; learn more about core curriculum and elective classes.
“We just wanted to invite people in,” Green said. “They can see what we have to offer.”
Sophomores Asia Terry and Thoma’nique Hayes, and junior Jon Bono, were among the students who presented information during the open house.
The flipped model was implemented during the 2011-12 school year.
“We continue to have some good results with it. It gives our kids a chance to be successful. It gives them more confidence,” Green said. According to Green, college attendance for Clintondale students has increased in just the last two years, from 63 percent to 81 percent.
“I like the fact you can go home and watch a video, and they reteach you,” senior Tyler Finley said.
“When I got into high school, I started getting all A’s,” Hayes said. In addition to the flipped model, educators consistently try other strategies in an effort to improve student achievement. In one particular classroom, teachers added a couch, desks on wheels and colorful ceiling lanterns. The furniture is moved around on a regular basis to determine which setup best fits the learning environment.
“We’re seeing if they have any affect on achievement,” Green said. Some classrooms, too, were set up to resemble those of an elementary school classroom.
Freshmen Jimmy Kauflin appreciates the school’s ninth-grade center within CHS.
“You have all your classes in one area,” he said. “You don’t have to travel as much.”
The freshmen attend their core curriculum classes in their own designated area of the school known as the ninth-grade center, which includes computer labs, lockers and restrooms. The students venture to other parts of the building for electives.
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