Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 28, 2011

Boy how the summer has flown by. Everyone has been so busy getting ready for the new school year. Teachers and administrators have attended workshops on utilizing technology in the classroom, improving the creative writing skills of our students, how to setup and use RenWeb (our new school management software), as well as many other offsite workshops and classes. Coaches have been running off-season workouts, camps and clinics. School maintenance and custodians have been attending to getting our facilities ready for the fall semester. Finally, our administrators have been busy enrolling new students, reviewing test scores, and setting up back-to-school in-service and activities.
However, even with all that going on, we are still very excited and ready for the new year. As an example, our kindergarten and lower elementary students will return to a new iPad cart with 25 iPads purchased by our Parents’ Club. To that end, teachers have been busy learning about the iPad and how to incorporate it into their classrooms. They are all excited about using the iPad to reinforce learning and give our students a leg up on utilizing this new technology.
Coach Coleman has been busy completing his online training on ‘‘Blended Learning.” This new educational delivery method will combine both online and face-to-face instruction. This blended class will provide a transition for our students as they advance on to college and are faced with required online classes in many of their fields of study. Not only will students learn the mechanics of online classes, the technology, etc, but they will also learn how time management and setting goals for completing tasks work into the completion of the class. He has set up his new online learning website through HaiKu and will be introducing his class to this new way of instruction. His class, “Principles of Personal Finance,” will also give our students valuable insight into how to manage their own personal finances, something so desperately needed in our nation at this time.
The Parents’ Club also purchased a new Macbook cart with 25 Apple Macbook computers. These computers will be used throughout the secondary grades with special emphasis in grades 7 and 8. Each teacher in grades 7 and 8 will have both group and individual technology projects for their students. These projects will be used to challenge the students to work in teams, think creatively and solve complex problems using the same type of technology they will see in their post-secondary education courses.
Indeed, the new school year is almost here and I hope everyone is ready. Many of our students have summer reading to finish; parents have school supplies to buy, and everyone is begining preparations to change from a summer routine back to school routine once again. There is just something special about the beginning of school. Whether seeing old friends or simply a desire to get back in the routine, whether we like to admit it or not, we miss school when it’s not in session.
So mark your calendar for August 10 and we’ll see you then