Principal's Page

The 2016-2017 monthly principal messages are dedicated to aspects of our East Troy Community School District Policy on (P)ersonalized (L)earning (E)nvironments. In brief, the policy states we are a school system that places the individual learner at the center of the learning process. This policy and its application will re-shape our learning experiences for all students now and into the future.  This month, I would like to focus on the concept of:

Technology Integration

Technology integration provides students and teachers with access to a variety of tools and affords the opportunity to create a deeper understanding of content. Technology is utilized to access up-to-date materials and information, provides tools to  collect and record data, encourages collaboration, addresses real-world, authentic tasks and increases student engagement. By integrating technology into instruction, curriculum, and assessment, educators are able to support and enhance authentic learning, provide acceleration and intervention, and ensure increased collaboration and communication. Additionally, technology provides 24/7 access to learning opportunities.

Having grown up in the late 80’s, I am continually amazed at how our world has changed related to technology.  (Yes, I am showing my age.) I did learn on an electric typewriter and remember the world before internet and google. Ironically, the tools that are meant to connect us (internet/cell phones) can also isolate us. Often, we walk around with our heads down, staring at a screen.

The East Troy Community School District focuses on the word, “integration” not replacement. Students use devices daily as a means to reach their learning targets,   research and analyze, and explore other perspectives. However, one should never lose sight of the expectations of future employers.  Specifically, employers tell us they need future employees to know how to communicate, collaborate, be creative, think critically and understand the content taught in schools. Our approach to learning is not    going unnoticed.  In the last 2 months, we have had several high performing school districts and the University of Wisconsin-Madison visit our buildings to learn our   approach and its positive impact on students.

On a side note, I want to thank all of our families who helped contribute to our Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser and the donation of 900 items to our local food pantry!

 

Learning is Different Here!!!

We are pleased to announce the grand opening of our Smart Lab!  As you walk down the 4th grade wing to enter the Smart Lab, you will see a prominent banner that declares “Learning is different here!”   I am certain that your child has or will share the engaging learning launchers occurring in that classroom on a daily basis.  As I reflected more about the banner, I wondered where else in our building could the phrase “learning is different here” be found?

As adults, our learning experiences throughout elementary, middle or high school were most likely traditional.  You walked into a classroom, sat in a hard chair that was placed in a row, listened to the teacher, took some notes and walked out of class 47 minutes later?  Sound familiar?  Does that approach work anymore? Is that the best way for students to learn?  Don’t future employers want students to know how to collaborate, communicate, be creative and think critically?

My 2016-17 monthly Principal messages found on our website and in our newsletter will be dedicated to aspects of our East Troy Community School District Policy on Personalized Learning Environments. In brief, the policy states we are a school system that places the individual learner at the center of the learning process. This policy and its application will re-shape our learning experiences for all students.

The answer to our first question, “where is learning different at PV?” can be found in many different corners around our building.  First, many of our teachers are adapting their learning spaces. Based on student input, some students prefer to stand, some like to work in groups, others like to have headphones on to reduce distractions.  Second, teachers will be goal setting with individual students to support math and reading achievement.  Third, all our teachers know the importance of considering student voice and choice when designing lessons and assessing learning. As such, your child will likely be more engaged in a relevant, authentic learning experience.

I look forward to sharing more about these experiences and other Prairie View celebrations on a monthly basis.   Proud to be a Prairie View Panther!!!