Monthly Archives: November 2014

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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