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The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

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Rakshan Ossen is a sophomore at Free State and is a reporter for FSJ. He devotes himself to the Free State community by being involved with many clubs at school. Outside of his academic life, he finds...

NEWS: Central Middle School Curriculum Change

Central middle school will transition to new STEAM based education
Eli Roust
Inside the building’s auditorium are the lines of poem commemorating the fallen soldiers who went to LMCMS during WWI. LMCMS, which was originally constructed as a memorial, will be turned into a magnet school in the fall of 2024.

On Monday, Dec. 1, the USD497 Board of Education unanimously voted to make Liberty Memorial Central Middle School a ‘magnet school,’ or a public school with a unique curriculum.

The accepted curriculum consists of hands-on learning centered around science, technology, engineering, arts and math. A new schedule would separate the core classes and hands

on learning part of the day for students to understand the application of their learned materials. 

“In the current model, subjects get siloed, and kids do not see connections,” LMCMS teacher Josh Spradlin said. “The idea with having a chunk of time that is flexible and integrated would allow us the freedom to choose a topic and cover it fully.”

This STEAM curriculum would offer non-traditional courses for the middle schoolers. Possibilities discussed include  3D designing, coding, app designing and computer science . There would also be a required two-week period where the sixth graders would explore and choose between art programs, such as band, choir, orchestra, art and theater. 

Lining the walls of the building are painted horses, the school’s mascot. LMCMS will become a STEAM school providing students the opportunity to explore their interests in-depth. (Eli Roust )

“Our why is: how can we best meet all of our students’ needs based on what they are telling us and what our data suggests,”LMCMS teacher Laura Leonard said.

Transforming the middle school into a magnet school will theoretically increase enrollment, especially since starting in 2024, students can attend any public school with available space, regardless of residence. In addition to increasing enrollment, the model for the curriculum is aimed to further engage students and will take place starting in the fall of 2024.

“It is the kind of flexibility and different thinking about teaching and learning that really has the potential to transform education for our students,” USD497 Board of Education member Shannon Kimball said.

About the Contributor
Maria Mosconi
Maria Mosconi, News Planning Team
Maria Mosconi is a sophomore reporter for Free State Journalism and it is her second year on staff. Otherwise, she spends her time doing ballet, hanging with friends, and learning to parallel park.
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