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Weston Schools Aim for Math/Science Leap

Weston has a plan to take its public schools to a higher level. In an effort to improve education standards and diminish the achievement gap between schools in America and other developed countries, the Board of Education has decided to improve its 21st Century skills initiative.

In December, Weston schools joined Columbia University's Teachers College in a three-year partnership that will focus on math and science skills to better prepare students for advanced technology vocations.

Tom Scarice , assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, presented the partnership program to the school board in December. "To prepare students for a rapidly changing digital world, we must equip them with the cognitive skills to innovatively problem-solve, to think critically and to collaborate in order to succeed," Scarice said in a press release on the website of the Weston Education Foundation.

The Weston Education Foundation has offered $50,000 to seed the program. The initiative will cost upwards of $150,000 over three years. Scarice noted that a separate line item will need to be established in the budget after WEF pays for the first year. Many Weston parents consider the move a big step in the right direction.

"I'm very excited about the program to drive our education into the 21st century," said WEF board member Woody Bliss , whose three children went through the Weston school system. "As we know from history, times change, and I think technology is changing dramatically, and I think this will really help kids better prepare for jobs in the 21st century."

Weston already focuses significant resources on technological innovation with projects such as the Trojan TV program at the high school. The WEF funded the TV studio, which produces student-run programs broadcast on channel 78. Scarice said the partnership with Columbia will permit students to be assessed using methods that focus on applied thinking skills rather than the recall of facts and figures.

Weston High School is already listed as the No. 3 school in the state by SchoolDigger.com . The 21st Century program hopes to lift all Weston schools to that level of success.

What types of technology programs would you like to see Weston schools implement?

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