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Working on the Work (WOW)

Working on the Work or WOW is the major emphasis of school improvement efforts at Salem Community Schools. WOW is focused on the heart of all schooling—the work assigned to students--and is based on the belief that:
  • Students will not learn if they don’t do their schoolwork
  • Students will be more likely to do their schoolwork if they find the work interesting, challenging and relevant to their lives.
  • Students who are engaged in meaningful schoolwork are more likely to work harder to complete it, more likely to understand the concepts taught and more likely to remember more of the content after the lesson is completed.
The mission and vision of Salem Community Schools emphasizes this focus on designing meaningful work for our students by embedding the 10 Design Qualities identified by Dr. Phillip Schlechty into our lessons. Today’s students will be entering an era in which knowledge and technology will evolve even more rapidly and workers will be expected to continuously expand their skills and adjust to new challenges. Our emphasis includes creating meaningful schoolwork that gives our students a strong foundation in the basics and teaches them how to gather and process information, to solve problems, and to adapt to change. By using WOW, our schools are helping students prepare to compete globally.


10 Design Qualities
►Content and Substance
What we ask students to learn reflects national, state, and local standards and is and culturally relevant.
►Organization of Knowledge
Information and knowledge are organized in a way that makes them accessible and inviting.
►Clear and Compelling Product Standards
The standards for student products are clearly articulated and demonstrated with examples.
►Protection from Adverse Consequences
Students are provided with feedback while they are working. They have additional opportunities to be successful.
►Product Focus
The students understand and value their own performances or work products
►Affirmation of Performance
Products and performances are made sufficiently public so that others affirm their importance.
The tasks are designed with sufficient complexity so that successful completion encourages cooperative action between students and adults.
►Novelty and Variety
The students are called upon to employ new or varied means of completing the task.
The students are provided with appropriate choices with regard to performance or products.
The products or performances have meaning or significance to the students

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  Halo Group, Inc.   500 North Harrison Street, Salem, Indiana 47167 | Phone: 812.883.4437 | Toll Free 866.800.0058 | Fax: 812.883.1031