The Andover Education Association voted unanimously at our general meeting in August to take a position in opposition to the proposed STEAM Charter School. It was not because we do not believe in STEAM as an initiative, fear competition or are comfortable with the status quo and don’t wish to shift the paradigm.
In fact, the opposite is the case. The teachers at Andover High have been in the forefront of not only STEAM initiatives, but also delving into the latest research in adolescent cognitive development, curricula trends and demands for the 21st century learner. Teachers spend many hours engaging in training and developing curriculum, course offerings and opportunities such as the Environmental Sustainability Internship or an extracurricular club such as robotics to broaden the scope and move beyond a traditional high school course of study. There are bridges to cross with regard to the pragmatics that face us at the high school, such as physical space limitations, the budget, staffing levels, graduation requirements and the current state of technology within the building and the system. There is much to learn in the ever-changing world of technology.
Not being a classroom teacher myself, I am continually inspired by the creative, thought-provoking, enthusiastic and reflective spirit of my colleagues who seldom let an obstacle deter them from striving to find an alternative if the bridge is blocked. Andover High is poised to move full steam ahead using the Strategic Plan to help chart that course. I urge the community to join with us to continue that quest with all the resources that the town can offer.
Kerry A. Costello
Andover Education Association