Strategic Priority: Engage and Challenge All Students

  • Ensure that all students participate in rigorous learning experiences that require the application of knowledge and skills, with an emphasis on writing across all content areas.
  • Empower students to meet future college, military, and workplace demands in a globally connected environment by building proficiency at the 21st century skills of communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.
Five Year Goals
  1. All students will participate in learning projects that require real world problem solving with clear benchmarks for proficiency.
  2. Full implementation of the Shrewsbury Writing Project to ensure students achieve high levels of proficiency in written communication across all content areas.
  3. All educators will participate in collaborative professional development in teaching 21st century skills and successfully apply this in the classroom.
  4. 90% of students, parents, and educators will agree that student learning experiences are engaging and that students participate in appropriately challenging coursework that meets their needs.

Report to School Committee

A report focusing on engaging and challenging all students was presented to the School Committee on May 24, 2017. 


Screenshot of the Shrewsbury Innovation Blog website

The district is building strong supports for teachers as they explore creating deeper learning experiences for their students. This program relies heavily on teacher leadership.

Graphic stating If we teach today's student as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow.

Teacher leaders curating examples of deeper learning across the district and other innovative learning environments.


High School

High School seniors in Ms. Cacela's English class answer the essential question, "How might the use of authentic narratives serve to better equip middle schoolers to make informed, healthy, and successful social choices in secondary school?". Each senior was paired with a 6th grade student based on what was important to them. Then the seniors created an illustrated narrative for their 6th grade partner.

Frame from sphero video

Ms. Bredberg asked students in Mr. Doherty's Engineering for the Future course to create a Sphero Robot maze. The best maze from each section will be placed in the media center with the Sphero robot for student use. Students are learning about iteration and engineering for a real-world project.

Screenshot Desmos graphing calculator app being used to draw tiger's eye

This is an example of work that is being done by students in Jessica Gardner's and Jose Schroen's Honors Calculus course. The mathematical content that is being studied is creating curves with tangent lines. Students began by finding equations to model the curves in the art work above. Once this task was completed, they used calculus to recreate the curves using tangent lines. By the close of this project, students created original art using tangent lines to model curved images.

Screenshot of winning designs of SHS Covers the Classics contest

Shrewsbury High School students were challenged to redesign covers of classical literature. Winning covers were made into eBooks for the SHS Media Center.

Screenshot of exemplar for Roman Weddings project

In a Latin 3 Honors course, students were asked to synthesize three resources (two Latin and one English) to compare ancient Roman and modern weddings in a creative way.


Middle School

Students at Oak and Sherwood have been engaged in writing across the curriculum. This video is representative of the work being done to integrate high quality writing within the content areas.

Middle-level research scope and sequence document screenshot

A strong research curriculum has been developed for 7th and 8th grade students that ensures they are ready for the rigors of Shrewsbury High School.

Pathways is the training platform used for our professional development for our educators in Shrewsbury. The clip provides an introduction to and some take-aways of the ten pathways.

These are some highlighted projects from the work that has been done at the Middle Level around the Project-Based Learning district goal, and represent a range of grade-levels and subjects. These projects illustrate how teachers have been using the strategies of authenticity, collaboration, student choice, and public exhibition to their practice. The video shares a 6th grade project completed on the 6 Gold team with Mrs. Anne Egan and Mrs. Moira Cristy. Students learned about decimals and percentages by creating a proposal for a new pizza they created for the Rail Trail Pizza Company. Students presented their pizza, including a cost analysis, to the business owners from Rail Trail Pizza Co.

This video describes how one Oak team used the Project Tuning Protocol during professional development time. Project Tuning Protocols were originally developed for the Coalition of Essential Schools' Exhibition Project in 1992 as a means to help teachers improve their work around projects and assessments. The protocol has been widely used and adapted by schools as a means to use peer collaboration to help teachers solve problems of practice.

Picture of the fairy tale robot

7th Grade Students Explore Fairy Tales, Volume, and Surface Area Students created two dimensional characters with rectangular figures. They were asked how they could transform their 2D shape to a 3D shape. Students compared 2D and 3D shapes to figure out what was missing, and then they used a variety of strategies to create their scaled three-dimensional figures. Students then used their work analyzing fairy tales and wrote a fairy tale of their own about their robot

Screenshot of Keys to Success project

8th grade students engaging with the question: "What skills and personal qualities does a person need to be successful in today's world?"




Second grade students at Floral Street School documented observations made throughout the school year of the nature trail. The videos have QR codes that will displayed that will allow trail guests to observe the seasonal changes that take place on the nature trail when they visit.

This video highlights the Shrewsbury Writing Project at the elementary level. An overview how graphic organizers are used and student thoughts on how these organizers support their learning are included.

Second graders are exploring the properties of matter through a hands-on science challenge. Given a set of materials, second graders needed to plan and create a hat that would protect them from the sun. Students worked collaboratively to apply the properties of the matter given to them to create a hat. They also tested the hat on a sunny day and made changes to their hat.

An Google Slide describing the various aspects of the Beal Reads initiative

Teachers engaged in self-directed learning in a Pathway of interest. This slide is a reflection from a group of teachers at Beal around their project that worked to communicate the importance of reading to Kindergarten families.

Screenshot of Pathways reflection

Teacher reflection on her learning during the Professional Development Pathway experience.

Photograph of Paton Little Lending Library

Fourth grade students at Paton School worked to explore how reading influences many things - the brain, inspiration to readers, and building community. This slideshow highlights some of the process and the products of students' explorations in a PBL experience - Reading Changes Everything

Photograph of Paton Little Lending Library

These are some highlighted projects from the work that has been done at the Elementary Level around the Project-Based Learning district goal, and represent a range of grade-levels and subjects. These projects illustrate how teachers have been using the strategies of authenticity, collaboration, student choice, and public exhibition to enhance their practice.