Monday, August 21, 2017

Almost Ready to Go!

Everyone has their ideal weather; and the weekend we just had is perfect for me! Temperatures in the mid-70's, light winds, and sun. Even the quick burst of rain on Friday night wasn't too bad because it broke the humidity. I had a hard time getting any work done because all I wanted to do was enjoy the outdoors! I wonder how productive I would be if I lived in southern California where it is this kind of weather EVERY day.

Bacon vs Blog Posts: I know that you are probably wondering two things: did I go to the Bacon Festival and does anyone else besides you read my blog over the summer. Excellent questions. 

First, if there is bacon, I am there. In the past I wanted bacon to be its own food group. Now that I am eating healthier I have backed off that wish, but it is hard to get me away from any place that has bacon ice cream. I think some of you are like minded because most of the vendors sold out of their goods by mid-way through the afternoon. Hopefully they will repeat the event next year and will bring more bacon!

The blog does get read in the summer months. I have been checking the statistics because I don't want to post information that no one is reading, and there are about 2,000 people reading the blog during the summer versus the 3,000 or more who read during the school year (the most we have has is 6,000 readers). Thank you for taking the time!

Technology in our Schools: Our technology crew has been working very hard to unbox, inventory, program, and set up the 3,641 Google Chromebooks that we received as Phase I of the federal Smart Schools Bond Act. I had given them a hard date of October 1 to have all of the equipment into the hands of students, and judging by the work they put in last week, it isn't going to surprise me if the computers are ready to go by the start of school.

You might be wondering if we are purposely headed towards a "1:1" computer environment. The answer is NO. We will get to a "1:1" environment by the end of Phase II of the Smart Schools Bond Act later this year, but the real reason why we are implementing so much technology is to engage students. It is no secret that modern-day students live in a Snap Chat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter world. We need to bring their education into that environment to further make connections, prepare them for life after high school, and engage their creative sides.

Our teachers are receiving professional development on how best to strike a balance between using technology in the classroom in conjunction with regular excellent teaching. 

  • Our grades two through five are closest to this balance so they will be the first recipients of the Chromebooks. 
  • Our K through one students will be using technology (as they already have been), in center time. 
  • Our students in grades six through twelve will have many "Chromebook carts" to use. 
  • Teachers who really want to extend student learning can apply for additional equipment to use on a more frequent basis. 
I am excited for this new initiative, but at the same time I will still be looking for solid teaching and learning when I visit classrooms. I think you will be impressed at open houses.

As you have heard a billion times by now, don't look directly into the eclipse today. Also, do not eat more than two Gianelli sausages in one sitting at the Fair. Trust me!

Have a great week!