Back to School: Shutesbury

Artist-in-residence, ‘universal design’ curriculum returns

  • Shutesbury Elementary School

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

SHUTESBURY — In the upcoming school year Shutesbury students can expect a continued commitment to “universal design” and a new artist-in-residence, to be announced.

Union 28 Superintendent Jennifer Haggerty said that the philosophy of universal design “guides development of flexible learning environments to support all learners to access to learning at the highest level.”

The program, which began in fall 2016, encourages teachers to provide multiple ways for students to engage in class material.

“If we don’t have kids who are engaged and motivated then they won’t stay challenged and excited,” Haggerty said.

One of the main tenets of the program is getting kids to demonstrate their knowledge in ways that go beyond pen and paper testing.

Now they can use art, PowerPoint presentations and other forms of multimedia to produce knowledge and demonstrate mastery.

Shutesbury is also welcoming a new artist-in-residence, a long-held tradition. Last year, the school hosted the “Circus Smirkus” troop.

“It’s part of what makes Shutesbury Elementary, Shutesbury Elementary,” Haggerty said.

Three new teachers and administrators will start in September alongside the school’s 125 students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

“There’s always excitement for the first day of school,” Haggerty said.