Collaborative, inclusive, authentic – all words one hopes will reflect their child’s educational experience. At the Moss Street Partnership School, a Reidsville-based school operated by UNC Greensboro in partnership with Rockingham County Schools, children are experiencing just that. During a time when social and emotional learning are growing increasingly important, this K-5 school is making it a point to change the way teachers teach and children learn.
Drawing on resources from the UNCG campus, staff, and student teachers, Moss Street is designed to not only develop student skills and interest in the STEAM subjects, but to develop an enriching community. With the school’s renewal on the horizon this fall, the time to highlight Moss Street’s unique learning style is now.
The school recently celebrated 68 students in their annual 5th grade moving up ceremony in June.
It’s an event of particular significance for students and their families, marking a milestone that – for many – represents the highest level of education achieved in their family. To date, over 250 students have graduated since its opening in the summer of 2017.
“I am very impressed by the class size, the one-on-ones, and the check-ins by the teachers during these challenging times. It gives me comfort in knowing that my child is not just a number, but a student that they acknowledge and care about.”
– Lauren McKiver
Prior to the pandemic, Moss Street teachers and administrators understood the importance of social and emotional learning and their influences on student academic performance. With an established plan in place, the school broadened its implementation of restorative practice, caring, and trauma-informed pedagogy to assist students with returning to becoming full-time participants in schools and recovering from the traumatizing experiences of COVID-19.
Social and emotional learning efforts at Moss Street have been extremely effective. According to the results of a regression analysis conducted as part of the most recent Laboratory Schools Evaluation report, students at Moss Street were 10-20% less likely to be suspended when compared to a matched sample of students from other schools.
“I’ve been in education for 22 years, and this is unlike anything I have ever experienced,” said Principal Tina Chestnut. “We are working collaboratively, inclusively, and experientially to change the way that we teach and the way that kids learn. What makes Moss Street so special is the sense of community. We put so much emphasis into knowing our kids beyond academics that you can’t help but for it to be a very special place.”
These efforts have proved to make a transformative impact on students and their families.
“Parents tell us the difference they see in their children – now they look forward to coming to school,” said UNCG School of Education Dean Randy Penfield. “Instilling a love of learning at a young age is critical for their success. UNCG is changing life trajectories for many families, and it’s gratifying to see the positive impact on future generations, and, by extension, communities beyond the area.”
“My 9-year-old daughter is in the 4th grade, and I have seen such growth in her. She absolutely loves her teachers – they are always available for questions and take the time to reach out and check on her. I am grateful they genuinely care about our kids.”
– Mesha Scales
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Story by Eden Bloss, University Communications
Photography by David Row and Michael A. Ream III, University Communications