School Visit: Westwood Hills Elementary School

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Selfie with Renae Deffenbaugh, principal

When I had the opportunity to sit with Ms. Deffenbaugh in early March the first thing we talked about was instruction. Westwood Hills faculty are focused on providing high quality instruction and in particular there is a unique focus on technology. She shared information on Little Bits, their after school enrichment program focused on STEM. I also saw the collection of Google Chromebooks for the K-2 classrooms, she said there are five to six per classroom. Westwood is also fortunate to have a very active PTO which funded three of their computer labs.
As I was exiting the school the Kate Collins Middle School Band was coming over to perform for the elementary school students – what a great introduction to the performing arts in our school system!
This coming weekend I am looking forward to participating in the Westwood Hills PTO’s Dash with a Splash 5K – fingers crossed for good weather!

2 thoughts on “School Visit: Westwood Hills Elementary School

  1. Tom Hardiman says:

    Shelly, do you plan to visit the other elementary schools – in particular Wenonah Elem? I think its great that the WWH PTO funds computer labs, but what about the schools whose parents cannot? Do these kids have access to the Chromebooks? If not, they are likely falling further behind their counterparts across town. I fear that we are failing an entire elementary school full of kids and all the talk about building a new high school will mean little if these kids don’t make it that far. What is the plan to help these kids?

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    • shellylaurenzo says:

      Hi Tom,
      Thank you for reading and reaching out! Yes, I have visited all of the elementary schools and plan on sharing my visits in the coming weeks. Wenonah Elementary is under new leadership, Ms. Carter is a very dynamic and engaged principal. She has energized the faculty members to help our students. They have a STEM Academy in place this year creating additional learning opportunities (it’s already built such a reputation that a nearby district came last month to shadow and learn more). If I remember correctly, Wenonah also just rebooted their PTO this fall and are in the process of expanding and building up resources. I agree that we must support all of the students in Waynesboro and our educational leadership both in the schools and central office are focused on that. If you missed the NewsLeader article on Wenonah, I highly recommend it: http://www.newsleader.com/story/news/local/2016/03/17/changes-abound-year-wenonah-35in35/81904344/

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