A new focus group made up of staff and patrons will be launched this fall by the Washington School District.
“We are in the planning stages for Focus Group 3 — Improving Student Achievement and Engagement in the Technological Age,” Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer told The Missourian.
The district also has two other focus groups — one on facilities and another on student achievement.
“We must think about 21st century classrooms and what they look like,” VanLeer said. “We must talk about how we plan to meet the needs of our kids as they work through school and embark upon a very complex, highly technical, global society.”
Currently, district administrators are putting together a letter to be sent to staff members and community members who may wish to participate.
“All are welcome,” she said. Anyone interested is asked to call the district office at 636-231-2006.
“We developed a list of staff members who have expressed interest or are involved in technology and we will be inviting them,” she said. “We’ve also had a few community members tell they want to get involved as well. We welcome anyone.”
The group’s first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Technology and Learning Center off Highway 47.
Assistant Superintendent Judy Straatmann and Technology Director Rob Landers are part of the leadership team and will help facilitate the meetings, VanLeer said.
“We will be working in the following areas — devise selection/infrastructure, funding, implementation/awareness, professional learning, communications and evaluation,” she said. “Members will be in one of these working subgroups.
“When the full focus group meets, some of the subgroups will be sharing with the whole group until the plan gets fully developed and becomes a recommendation to the school board,” she said.
VanLeer said technology is a way of life today and teachers have to be trained to use it to enhance learning.
“With the new state standards and assessments coming which require the use of tablets our staff has to be proficient in using and teaching with it,” she said.