Below is a letter that was prepared by Bryan Munoz, ENHS Band Director, to be submitted to the Kendallville News Sun.
Meanwhile, the teachers teach.
As I was in the audience of a school board meeting this week I witnessed one of the most undermining statements from someone I have heard in education. This human used words that were specifically chosen to cut to the core of individuals and strike fear in all those in attendance. It cut to the core of me as well. As I went to scold this individual, the stick was turned and I received a thrashing. That’s right, I was SCHOOLED. I was informed I’m uneducated, an idiot, and a follower. I was told my opinions don’t matter in this community because I’m not a taxpayer to this county, and I’m not a millionaire (I didn’t realize who I was speaking with apparently). Well, I have written today to say I do matter. Perhaps I matter more than some want to acknowledge. While it’s true I do not live in Noble County, I’m completely invested in its future. I’m a teacher for East Noble and I’m teaching YOUR kids. I work hard every day, just like the rest of the teachers, who do something miraculous–drive students to realize their full potential, even when they don’t see. We wipe away tears when frustration sets in and sit down next to them to see it through. We give that coveted “look over the slanted glasses” that we have all seen from teachers before when a student knows he or she could be doing better. But, what we also do is inspire. We inspire your children to reach for something greater than they realized possible. We’re there through the successes and tribulations. If I’m lucky enough, maybe even I’ll save just one life in my career. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have to inform you (especially since you pay my salary): I am a millionaire! I work with the most dedicated young students our community has to offer. I spend 50-60 hours a week with them. And through my classroom rigor, and our extra curricular activities, we learn more life lessons with each other than one could ever hope to learn in a business. I love going to Noble County every day because of YOUR kids and what potential they HAVE and WILL achieve! So while I may not vote on Tuesday, YOU WILL. You’ll vote yes or no for a new middle school. And you’ll vote to re-elect school board members or bring in a new crew. It is this poor, unintelligent, uneducated, turkey (was that what I was called last night?) that implores you to make a profound impact on over 3,000 students lives as well. Vote yes to give our kids the absolute best they deserve. Vote yes because we understand kids shouldn’t have to “earn” an opportunity in our education system: That’s what makes America the greatest country in the world. We offer our children the same start as everyone else, no matter what religion, race, or tax bracket. Vote yes because you know that the people you re-elect into the school board have been putting our kids first and will continue to do so. Meanwhile, EN teachers…we’ll just keep on teaching.
Wednesday, October 22, a special School Board meeting is being added. Last week during the public forum, information concerning a gas line that runs along the southern border of the property selected for the proposed middle school was shared. The School Board would like to further discuss this information and have added a Board meeting to do so. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and is held at the Central Office on October 22.
East Noble School Corporation was one of 12 districts in Indiana to be approved for eLearning days and we have scheduled October 31 as one of those days. With our extensive and personalized technology use across the district, providing students with an opportunity to learn from home is something we believe is a valuable experience. In addition, with this approval also comes approval to use eLearning in place of cancelling school due to weather. While we will not use eLearning for all cancellation days, we may use eLearning for the times when we are aware of a large storm arriving and staff have an opportunity to prepare students for a potential eLearning day. Before we do that; however, we want to use October 31 as a “trial run” to determine what we need to change or better plan in the event of using an eLearning day in place of a school cancellation.
On October 31, your child or children will remain at home for their eLearning Day. Teachers will be attending full day professional development at the high school during that time and will have contact with their students throughout the day. Students will receive their assignments previous to Friday morning. Students will receive more information from their teacher as we approach the day. Our teachers have been planning and developing activities for the students using our experiences from last year’s eLearning day. In our efforts to provide students with quality activities and academic engagement last year, we learned the amount of work provided was far more than what might be completed on a “normal” school day. This is being considered as teachers plan for October 31. As like any true eLearning student, not all schooling takes place in a traditional 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. time window. Students will have the flexibility to participate in their learning at a time that fits their needs. Completed work will be due on Monday, November 3.
Parents have asked how students will access information if they do not have Internet access. All teachers have been instructed to give students time during the day on October 30 to ensure students are able to download the materials they will need for the eLearning day.
As a part of our Indiana Department of Education approved eLearning day to be held on October 31, we must provide a lunch option to students. The ENSC Food Service Department will be serving lunch to students who are interested. Lunch will be served at North Side Elementary between 11 a.m. and 12 noon. No transportation will be provided. A reservation form must be completed and returned to your child’s home school. The form can be found on the ENSC District webpage and on all of the building webpages. A copy is also being send home with the elementary students.
We believe this nontraditional school day will be a valuable opportunity for our students and our teachers. From this experience, we will be better prepared to use an eLearning day in place of cancelling school if we have a rough winter similar to last year. Leading up to October 31, teachers will be holding conversations with students and providing additional information so they are successful on this day.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
During the September 10, 2014 School Board meeting, two organized eLearning days were added to the 2014-2015 school year calendar. I know for a few of you, a sound of “ugh” is occurring. However, for others, you find this as a natural part of teaching and learning for our students and saying “its about time.” With three full years of technology integration “under our belts,” it is time to maximize our resources and skills of students to explore and master other ways to learn. One of those ways is through eLearning.
Last spring, the Indiana Department of Education approved ENSC for eLearning days to be held during the school year. The administration is not only looking at these days as opportunities for new ways to learn, but also practice for using eLearning on a potential weather canceled school day when the rough winter begins. Last winter, after cancelling school multiple times, parents began asking “why not” to eLearning. Our students have devices, it is a natural part of instruction, and they are quite capable of this responsibility.
October 31 will be an eLearning day for all ENSC students. Between now and that day, staff will be planning for a successful implementation of a technology rich eLearning day from home. While students are home, teachers will be involved in professional development being held at the district. The second eLearning day is May 4 and for students in grades 9-12 only. Teachers will be using this day to hold senior exit activities.
ENSC takes learning seriously. We want these eLearning days to be quality instructional days with activities that engage and challenge students. We believe quality instruction is a combination of technology tools and facilitated instruction from a quality teacher face-to-face. A successful eLearning day takes considerable planning for success. With that said, we do not plan to use eLearning days for every weather cancellation. eLearning days may be used with we have plenty of advance notice of severe weather. This occurred several times this past winter.
Families and staff provided input last winter concerning our eLearning days. This information will be used as we plan for the first eLearning day on October 31.
As always, feel free to contact me at 260-347-2502 or firstname.lastname@example.org