Washington School District Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer is making plans to meet with two advisory groups in the near future.
The first is her superintendent community advisory group which will meet Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the administration building.
Another meeting planned is with the technology focus group Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Technology and Learning Center. Time will be announced.
VanLeer said she wants to work with the community advisory group to develop an academic recovery program for students.
She envisions a threefold plan to mobilize volunteers to assist students in grades kindergarten through third who are:
• not proficient readers;
• not proficient in other content areas, such as math; and
• mentor and model for students eager to learn.
“I would like us to develop together a volunteer program — from management, training, implementation and marketing,” she said
“We already have some great community resources and I believe that by mobilizing volunteers we can not only help students who are in need of extra help, we also can provide adult mentors and establish awareness, exposure and positive support for the district.”
VanLeer also hopes to partner with other literacy groups in the community, like Newspapers in Education.
“We are compiling data now which we will share with the advisory group and then they can help us develop a logo, slogan, assist with volunteer recruiting efforts, the training program, supply list and marketing,” she said.
New committee members are always welcome, said VanLeer, who encourages anyone interested to attend the nex meeting or call the administration office.
At the technology focus group meeting, VanLeer plans to share “where we are now” and have teachers who are piloting different technology in their classrooms speak.
“We will share the strategic plan for future technology integration as well,” she said. “We also will share details of the district’s iBelieve in Learning Symposium to be held in January or February.”
VanLeer stressed that technology isn’t the “end all” and solid teaching strategies are still the No. 1 focus.
“Good curriculum, a variety of solid teaching strategies and 21st century learning tools for all equals success,” she said.
VanLeer said the district has to begin looking at ways to transition to a 1 to 1 technology model, meaning each student having access to a tablet or computer.
Right now, the district is piloting a program where students can bring in their own devices at Washington High School in certain classes.
However, VanLeer said that model does not solve the inequity issues.
“It would be like issuing textbooks to only half of the students,” she said. “We are in the process of compiling a digital resource list and a print resource list by grade level, so much more information to come.”