Dr. Christina Welch
Snow Hill Middle School
"We have seen more growth than we have ever seen with our one-year of cohort data."
- Dr. Christina Welch, Snow Hill Middle School Principal
Snow Hill, Md. – The Maryland Society for Educational Technology (MSET) is proud to announce its September 2018 Digital Learning Showcase Recipient Dr. Christina Welch, principal of Snow Hill Middle School in Worcester County Public Schools.
Welch is the key figure in Snow Hill Middle implementing its Summit Personalized Learning Program. The unique program is described as having a variety of activities going on all throughout the instructional class period. It’s formatted where students work off a playlist of content materials to meet the course standards. These playlist resources include a variety of materials including readings, videos, games, and/or flashcards where teachers can modify the offerings to meet a child’s specific needs.
“Students get the option of choosing the resources that best fits their learning style to learn the standard,” Welch explained as there are many resources – PowerPoint, web site pages, podcasts, and textbook resources to name a few. “Each day students set a goal (playlist) to help them learn best. At that point they get to utilize those resources.”
The three component program – personalized learning (online), project based learning, and mentoring – has addressed many components of the achievement gap for the rural middle school. Welch stated the grade-levels that participated in the Summit program saw significant gains on the spring Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Welch indicates the success of these students comes from flexibility of the program and the personalized mentoring each student gets during instruction.
“We have seen more growth than we have ever seen with our one-year of cohort data,” Welch shared. “We still have room for improvement, but we are making great progress addressing our student needs.”
In a recent Summit Learning Blog post, Snow Hill Middle was recognized for using the program to close the opportunity gap for students with disabilities in the school. The robust pallet of course resources allows those students to complete more of the grade-level standards because of the choice they have on the Summit Learning Platform, according to one of its special education teachers.
From mastering note-taking to knowing the manner in which they learn best, Welch believes her students are becoming more prepared to be successful learners and teachers are strengthening their bonds with each student.
“Teachers have a stronger relationship now with students than ever before,” Welch highlighted as she touted the dedication of her staff, one of the key components in the program’s success, for being willing to take a leap of faith to teach kids a little differently than they might have in the past. “We had to look at instruction differently than before, and it has made a huge difference in the relationships with students. Each teacher gets to know students at every level through the mentoring and personalized learning approach.”
Welch will be honored as a MSET Digital Learning Showcase recipient for her work with using educational technology to enhance learning outcomes for students in May at the Common Ground Awards Luncheon at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City.
About Digital Learning Showcase
MSET is taking the opportunity to highlight best practices in classroom teaching, leading, and learning with educational technology from around the state of Maryland. The goal is to spotlight innovations of members and nonmembers throughout different public and private school settings. Each month teachers, school leaders, and community members are asked to nominate individuals who support innovation and educational technology in a school setting.
MSET is non-profit organization with the purpose of promoting the improvement of the teaching-learning process through effective technology integration into all curricular areas as well as fostering and promoting excellence technology in education. MSET is an affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a leading international network for technology professionals.