Waynesboro elementary school offering students WIN time

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 5:03 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - An elementary school in the Shenandoah Valley is asking students and teachers what they really need now that we’re back to in-person learning.

The answer is helping kids learn and grow in new relationships.

Teachers and administrators at Westwood Hills Elementary School are trying to give students the help they need, and that goes beyond schoolwork.

“In our virtual model, where we were trying to focus on getting as much instructional time as possible, kids started to talk to us about how they missed having relationships with their teachers,” Assistant Principal Jennifer Sturm said.

“I get to go to school with my friends and play, but when we doing virtual and stuff you couldn’t really do anything,” student Izzie Schiano-Moriello said.

Educators are addressing social-emotional health, mental health, and academic needs with WIN (What I Need) time. It’s every afternoon for the entire school, and it’s all hands on deck.

“Every instructional aid, every specialist teacher has a group and is working with kids during that time,” Strum said.

They are addressing what students need in the moment.

“It’s a time for students who need extra help on any subject,” student Simon Frankson said.

“We practice our multiplication facts, reading, like a game, but it’s really fun,” Izzie said.

“On Fridays, we do coding,” student Jaylen Jefferson said. “If I don’t get my math done, I’ll do that.”

“We have whole classrooms that are doing social skills lessons during that last half hour. We have some kids that are doing yoga,” Sturm said. “We have some small groups meeting.”

They’re taking the time to build relationships and figure out what kids need so they can get them where they need to be.

“It’s not easy,” Sturm said. “There are lots of times when we don’t feel like we have enough time in the day to get done what we need to get done in a normal year, but this year we just felt like we couldn’t not do it.”

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