Where are we with ENMS?

As I am out in the community, I am often asked where the district is with the middle school.  Have we given up on a new building?  Are we going to renovate?  Are we looking to other locations?  When can “something” be expected?

The ENSC School Board is moving forward with plans for a new middle school.  What the design will be, where it may be located, when it may be started, what it may cost are all undetermined!  The School Board continues to evaluate any potential sites that are being offered to them.  They continue to consider design elements that directly benefit students and are future forward.  As for the start, the School Board must follow the same process as it did one year ago.  That includes a 1028 Hearing that notifies the public of an anticipated budget for a new middle school.    The School Board is hopeful that a 1028 Hearing can be held in May of this year.

Please attend school board meetings, read the newspaper for updates, email or call Ann Linson or any School Board member for additional information.  Always feel free to provide your input on this project.

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eLearning Day

East Noble School Corporation finally had the opportunity to use eLearning in place of cancelling school on Thursday, January 8, 2014.  Thank you to all, ENSC staff, teachers, parents, guardians, grandparents, area caregivers, and students!  Our practice eLearning day we held earlier this year along with our experience from eLearning last year, helped make this day a success for our students and families.

As we continue to evaluate the use of eLearning days, we will assess the lessons provided to students, the amount of time students took to complete the work, but most importantly, the rigor and relevance of the lessons.

Below are a few important notes:

1.  Adults are not expected to help their child complete all of their work.  Guidance and encouragement are appreciated and important to your child’s success.

2.  If your child has questions, your child or an adult are encouraged to contact your child’s teacher.  If you do not have access to email, please create a list of questions for the student to ask his/her teacher the next school day.

3.  Students will be given additional time to complete their work especially when they have questions.

4.  Attendance is taken for the day.  If students are able to complete part of the work, they are considered present.

5.  Families will be informed when the district is planning to use an eLearning day.

Please feel free to contact Superintendent Ann Linson with any questions you may have.  (alinson@eastnoble.net)

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Potential eLearning Days

Welcome back to school and good afternoon East Noble School Corporation families. It appears that 2015 is beginning very similar to 2014. There is a current weather alert calling for 4-7 inches of snow Monday night into Tuesday morning along with extreme wind chills.

Our first choice is always to have students in classrooms working directly with teachers. However, East Noble School Corporation has been approved to use eLearning days when we are not able to hold traditional classes due to poor weather conditions. Last October, ENSC held an eLearning day which provided excellent practice and preparation for future elearning days.

We are watching the current weather forecast very closely and if the weather does not allow us to hold classes in school buildings on Tuesday, Jan. 6, we will use eLearning for that school day. In addition, if we are not able to hold classes in school buildings on Wednesday, Jan. 7, we will use eLearning for a second day. We will use no more than these two days for eLearning this week.  These eLearning days will only be possible if we hold school Monday, Jan. 5.

The decision to hold eLearning days will not be made until Tuesday and/or Wednesday morning. If school is closed on either day, these days will be eLearning days. All students will receive information during school on Monday, Jan. 5. Students in grades 5-12 will have normal access to Canvas for additional information. Students in grades Kindergarten through 4th grade will take their devices home with them on Monday along with additional information. Teachers will be available during normal school hours through email or the learning management system. Also, as with any eLearning activities, students will be provided appropriate or extended completion due dates.

This message is being sent to you on this Sunday afternoon so that you have appropriate time to make any needed plans or arrangements for Tuesday and/or Wednesday.

Thank you for the support you provide to your children and East Noble School Corporation every day!

Ann Linson, Superintendent

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Invitation to the White House

The below was published in the November 15, 2014 Kendallville News Sun:

KENDALLVILLE — East Noble School Corp. Superintendent Ann Linson is among 100 educators from across the country invited to participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s first-ever Future Ready Superintendent Summit Wednesday at the White House.

The event in Washington, D.C., which President Barack Obama is expected to attend, will recognize educators for their efforts in transitioning schools to digital learning, according to a Department of Education announcement. Those attending the summit also will share ideas with one another and the Department of Education about using technology in classrooms.

The DOE is sponsoring the Future Ready initiative, which will showcase “outstanding school leadership and strategies,” according to the announcement.

“It is an honor to represent East Noble School Corp. for this event,” Linson said in an email. “We have excellent teachers and staff who, through their commitment and dedication, are ensuring our students are ‘future ready.’”

East Noble is in its fourth year of providing all of its students with either tablet devices or laptop computers through its one-to-one technology program. The DOE said using technology inside and outside East Noble classrooms “allows students to be engaged in their learning at deeper levels, using strategies that better prepare them for the future.”

“This opportunity to go to the White House and share with other districts across the United States is amazing,” Linson said. “It certainly validates the hard work and vision of our staff and school board, and commitment from the community. Technology integration as a natural part of instruction helps students develop their 21st-century skills and in turn supports a growing economy in our communities.”

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said technology strategies such as East Noble’s can help improve learning opportunities for students throughout the United States.

“School districts across the country are helping teachers harness the power of technology to create personal learning environments for all students,” Duncan said in the DOE announcement. “We want to make sure every child — whether he or she is in the inner city, in a rural community or on a Native American reservation — has access to knowledge and the chance to learn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The department said the White House summit will be followed by 12 to 15 regional summits that will highlight the progress school districts are making in adopting technology. In addition, digital tools that facilitate school districts’ adoption of technology in the near and long terms will be unveiled.

“The Future Ready initiative highlights the critical role of district leaders in setting a vision and creating the environment where educators and students access the tools, content and expertise necessary for thriving in a connected world,” Richard Culatta, director of the DOE’s Office of Educational Technology, said in the announcement.

According to the announcement, Obama launched the ConnectED Initiative in 2013, the goal of which is to provide 99 percent of U.S. students access to next-generation connectivity within five years.

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Another Letter to the Editor from one of ENSC’s finest

The below letter was published in the November 6, 2014 Kendallville News Sun:

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, people came out and voted against what is best for our students. People may try and convince you that they said “no” to the property choice, or the building size, or the tax rate, but what they really said was “no” to my future students. They said “no” to a better education for my students. Yes, I believe that the environment you are in can affect your learning. The current building is not effective for today’s students’ needs.

I am a teacher at East Noble Middle School. I see daily the need for a new building. I shake my head when we have to bus a sports team all the way to Avilla just to practice. I wonder why our students never get to go outside for gym (the only outside space we have is a parking lot and a hill). I worry in the spring and summer when many classrooms reach 100 or more degrees, and I worry during the winter that the heater in my room might catch fire like one in another room did last year. I hate the fact that I have long power strips laid out all over because there are only five wall plugs in my room, and they are only on two of four walls (with 30 laptops that may need charged!). These are only a few of the many reasons a new building is required. This building was a great building. However, for today’s students and needs, it has lost its greatness.

I have a beautiful baby girl. My husband and I live in Kendallville, and are invested in the community and in its future. My daughter’s great-grandmothers graduated from this very building. I understand the nostalgia that people hold for a building that has been a part of the community for so long. However, I shudder to think that those people expect my daughter to use this building when she gets to middle school. Do people care more for bricks than students?

We aren’t done fighting for our students! We, the teachers at ENMS, believe with all of our hearts a new building on a new site is what is best for our future learners. I hope that with this delay, the extra time will allow people to see the truth, to see the need for the new building.

Please don’t give up on our students, we haven’t, and we won’t. See you at the next vote.

Samantha Jarrett

Kendallville

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