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New Principal At Weston Middle School Promotes Critical Thinking

WESTON, Conn. — Under the guidance of new principal Amy Watkins, Weston Middle School students will become critical thinkers and be better prepared for high school and beyond.

The new principal will oversee a number of new programs at the school, said Watkins, who comes from New York State, where she held a number of teaching and administrative positions.

Math in Focus, for sixth- and seventh-graders, “promotes big ideas instead of rote learning,” she said. “The program promotes more higher level thinking and prepares learners for the society that will greet them.”

The middle school will also integrate the AIM initiative. The program for Academic Innovation and Measurement “promotes skills like global critical thinking and makes it more rigorous,” Watkins said. AIM will prepare students for the work force. “CEOs of corporations look for the ability to understand a challenge and look at a problem and attack it from a mobile viewpoint,” she said.

A program called Positive Behavior Intervention Support rewards students for actions “that meet our expectations,” Watkins said. Students will be given tickets for acting in the right way, such as walking instead of running in the hallways, and can use them to win raffle prizes.

The new programs offer novel ways for the middle school to follow Watkins’ educational philosophy, which is “to nurture and build a bridge between intermediate and high school which allows students to focus on the future. Middle school is their first chance to develop an individual identity and become more independent. We provide stepping stones that support their efforts to become young adults.”

Watkins philosophy is also devoted to parents “who watch their child become more independent and feel like they’re not needed anymore. You should allow them to explore and become independent, which redefines your role as a parent.”

Watkins knows from experience — she has a 14-year-old son. “It isn’t like I gave up my little boy, but my role has changed and been redefined,” she said.

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