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Online series recognizes Hampton as top-notch school

| Monday, July 6, 2015, 2:54 p.m.
Andrew Halter, Hampton High School’s instructional coach, helps English teacher David Hermenau plan a lesson in the Edutopia video “Instructional Coaching: Driving Meaningful Tech Integration.” The high school was featured on Edutopia’s website in four videos on its web series “Schools That Work.”
Andrew Halter, Hampton High School’s instructional coach, helps English teacher David Hermenau plan a lesson in the Edutopia video “Instructional Coaching: Driving Meaningful Tech Integration.” The high school was featured on Edutopia’s website in four videos on its web series “Schools That Work.”

Hampton High School was recognized for its best practices in education through a national web series, “Schools That Work,” run by Edutopia.

Edutopia is a website and online community — part of the George Lucas Education Foundation — that emphasizes and shares core strategies of education: project based-learning, comprehensive assessment, integrated studied, social and emotional learning, educational leadership, and teacher development and technology integration.

The “Schools That Work” web series highlights practices and case studies from K-12 schools and districts across the country.

Hampton High School was chosen by the series after it was featured by the Harrisburg Patriot News, which ranked the school as one of the top three performing schools in the state in math and science, Assistant Superintendent Jeff Finch said.

“We are always looking for amazing schools that empower students to be successful both in school and in life, and Hampton High School seemed like a school that has successfully combined rigorous academics with high-quality enrichment,” said Julie Lee, “Schools That Work” production coordinator. “We were specifically interested in Hampton's use of performance-based assessment and data-driven instruction.”

A production crew from Edutopia shot video for a week last spring and produced four videos that were released online at the end of June.

The videos featured performance-based assessment in math and chemistry, exit tickets and instructional coaching.

For example, the performance-based assessment videos feature math teacher Joan Son's precalculus mission relief simulator in which students solve and map out simulated disaster rescue missions using concepts they learned in class.

Each video has an overview and then a detailed explanation of how the featured strategy is done, with resources for other teachers to follow.

The videos have gotten more than 20,000 views on YouTube and the Edutopia website, said Ed McKaveney, the Hampton district's technology director. He said the videos have been viewed and shared in countries such as Spain, the Netherlands, Singapore, France and New Zealand.

Featured in one of the videos, Andrew Halter has been serving as the high school's instructional coach for eight years. As a coach, Halter helps teachers throughout the school integrate technology into their lessons and shares best practices.

“I was really anxious to see how they represented what they captured, and I think they did a really good job capturing what it is,” he said. “I'm there to support teachers and provide them with training and provide them with knowledge and pass it along that way.”

McKaveney said while the videos show off the high school's best practices, it's just the tip of the iceberg for good examples throughout the district.

“The high school is a high-quality high school, but it's just a sampling of what we're doing across the district as a whole,” McKaveney said. “There's no shortage of examples.”

The videos can be viewed at edutopia.org/school/hampton-high-school.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or rfarkas@tribweb.com.

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