image of teachers at spring mills middle school participating in the modern classrooms project

Story by Ainsley Hall

MARTINSBURG — The Modern Classroom Project is a new project in Berkeley County where teachers use a different education model.

This year, 15 teachers are using this model to create a better learning environment for students. On Wednesday, at North Middle School, Derek Oldfield, instructional technology specialist with Berkeley County Schools, led the group’s first meeting since the new school year started.

The Modern Classrooms Project first came to Berkeley County when Brianna Niewodwoski, a seventh-grade teacher at Spring Mills Middle School, started using the program. Earlier this year, she even completed the application to become a Distinguished Modern Classroom Educator. Niewodwoski saw how the project was helping her students and encouraged other teachers to join.

This summer, there were 15 Berkeley County employees who completed the five-week course on the Modern Classroom model. This new education model allows students to learn at their own pace. Some students may understand a concept right away, while others need more time. By using video-based lectures, each student can take the time they need to learn important concepts and gives the teacher more time to help students one-on-one.

“The Modern Classrooms model allows teachers to meet those social and emotional needs of their students,” Oldfield said. “Some people might think that since it is video-based, it is a less human-based way of teaching, but in actuality, it is more human. It allows the teacher to provide more targeted instruction.”

During the meeting, teachers got to talk about how they’ve implemented the model and some of the changes they made in their classrooms. They hope to support each other and help other teachers find the best way to teach their students and give them the support they need. As students are completing the first unit, they can make changes or learn how to deal with certain situations before moving on to the next unit.

“I think the teachers enjoyed seeing students navigate the different pathways after the first week,” Oldfield said. “After the first few days, they could see students making progress at their own pace. I think it was encouraging for everyone. It’s initially the biggest affirmation.”

Teachers from six different schools in the county attended the meeting. Though they are still facing some challenges, they’ve seen a lot of progress with their students. They are excited to see how the program will continue to impact students and help them succeed.

For more information about the Modern Classroom Project, visit