Lower school WIN program advances individual student needs

WIN: what I need, an educational initiative unique to CPA Lower School that provides strategic time for every student to progress in the ways that he or she most needs. Imagine what we could all accomplish with 45 minutes daily, reserved for our immediate needs!
Brainchild of Head of School - Academics Amy Webster, WIN has been successfully integrated into the lower school curriculum this year as a way to progress student learning, ensure curricular objectives, and allocate time for one-on-one, teacher-student connection during the school day. This intentional, individualized learning initiative was developed to engage each student, as God has designed each student with a different intellect.

“How can we address the unique development of each student, not just by looking at test scores, but by surveying the whole child’s character, social and emotional well-being, academic development, and creativity?” poses Webster. “The WIN program give us the time and space to see each student as God has created us all: living, breathing, diverse works in progress.”

Each day, each student benefits from WIN time, advancing in areas such as reading skills, math proficiency, and even social-emotional growth. The purpose is to address exactly “what I need.” This time can look like reading in a favorite corner of the classroom, working on writing, math, processing a history lesson, asking critical questions about a science experiment, experimenting with an art project, or even just taking some time to be still and think. It’s whatever is best for the student on that day, at that time.

And the program addresses strengths as well as weaknesses, recognising that some students need time experiencing things they love, things they’re good at, things that they enjoy, or things that bring them confidence.

“We have some students that may excel in a certain area, and we’ll use WIN time to help them explore that gifting more intentionally. Or perhaps a student needs time to process a big transition or work on social skills. I am able to meet with them, helping them talk, engage, and empathize,” explains Assistant Head of Lower School Ann Pack.

Intervention Strategist Fonda Baumgartner works full-time in the lower school to advance students in reading and math during WIN time. Her work with students in these areas also addresses deeper learning in confidence and grit, giving them one-on-one time to fail safely and productively.

A fun collaboration took place this year between upper school National Honors Society members and students during their WIN time. Lower school administration partnered with these upper school leaders to tutor and mentor several students during their WIN time throughout the year.

“I really enjoyed getting to work with these younger kids because it gave me a chance to connect with someone outside of your normal social circle and also helps you learn teaching skills. They’re so much fun.” says NHS member Carli Cone.

The lower school students loved interacting with older students, and engagement was high as they bonded in mentorship! During their WIN lessons, NHS students were able to encourage, teach, and befriend lower school students.

“We steer parents away from a fixed mindset, thinking their child is ‘ just not good at something’. A growth mindset approaches the whole child, using testing data that goes hand-in-hand with teacher input and grade-level team analysis to build up specific skills in a student,” explains Webster.

In order for the WIN program to take effect, the school relies on methodical teacher input, interpreted testing data, a dedicated grade-level team, key administrators, and a full-time intervention strategist. Bottom line: it only works if students are known.

“The premise of this program is at the core of everything we strive for at CPA,” says Pack. “Our students are truly known and loved for the individuals that God has created them to be. The goal of WIN is transformation, and it’s what we as educators are really after.”

Christ Presbyterian Academy

2323-A Old Hickory Blvd. / Nashville, TN 37215 / 615-373-9550