Future Ready?

At about this time last year I spent a week posting about some intriguing questions posed by David Warlick about how we are to prepare students for a world which we ourselves cannot imagine.  This fall I seem to be returning to the same types of questions–this time about how to help our school districts, staff, students, and families be future ready.

The United States Department of Education has been working to help schools become future ready by working to provide high-speed wireless capability to students.  This has happened through funding we receive through the government in the form of erate; funding that hopefully will continue to expand.  As part of this initiative, they have asked superintendents from around the country to sign a Future Ready Pledge.  As this pledge fits with where we need to go as a district to be ready for the future, I have signed this pledge on behalf of Porter Township School Corporation.  The bullet points below are taken directly from the pledge, but fit right in with what we are trying to accomplish here at PTSC.  At PTSC we desire to:

  • Foster and lead a culture of digital learning within our schools (we are always open to trying new things and work to support our teachers in expanding digital learning, supporting new classroom instructional techniques, and in preparing our students for a digital future with ideas like our online learning days)
  • Help schools and families transition to high-speed connectivity (we have added additional access points at BGE and BGMS and have a plan to add to PLE)
  • Empower educators through professional learning opportunities (buildings are given a professional development budget and asked to design a professional development plan for the year)
  • Accelerate progress toward universal access for all students to quality devices (even where we are not yet 1:1 we have been adding mobile labs to buildings)
  • Provide access to quality digital content (Indiana has been leading the charge on developing digital content as a state and continues to build the content library)
  • Offer digital tools to help students and families (there are some on our website, but we need to do better in this area!)
  • Mentor other districts to help them transition to digital learning (this is a regular part of my schedule to help others and share what we are learning on the journey)

This is a journey and by taking the pledge it does not mean we have arrived, but that we will continue to grow.  Even though we encounter bumps in the road and have to recalculate our course, it is exciting to be transforming teaching and learning.  I don’t believe we will ever truly arrive.  As we face the challenge of preparing our students for a world which we cannot imagine we must continue to press forward and I am excited PTSC is committed to taking the challenge!

PTSC Standouts:

Congratulations to the 7th grade girls volleyball team at BGMS on their tournament championship!

Email PTSC standouts to Dr. Schmidt at stacey.schmidt@ptsc.k12.in.us.

Important Dates:

  • September 22, 2014:  Blood Drive at PLE
  • October 11, 2014:  Stuff the Bus for the Porter Township Food Pantry (Read a great article about this from this weekend in the Times!)
  • October 15, 2014:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • October 22, 2014:  End of Quarter 1
  • October 24, 2014:  No School, Fall Break
  • September 26, 2014:  Family Fun Night (Bingo) at PLE at 6:00 PM
  • September 30, 2014:  Picture Day at BGE
  • October 31, 2014:  No School, Parent Teacher Conferences
  • November 8, 2014:  Family Skate Night at 5:00 PM at Franklin Middle School
  • November 19, 2014:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • November 22, 2014:  PTO Fall Fun Fair at BGE
  • November 27-28, 2014:  No School, Thanksgiving Break
  • December 22-January 2, 2014:  No School, Winter Break

Things to Know/Do:

  • Now hiring substitute teachers!  Please contact Linda Dusek at the administration building if you are interested in substitute teaching and she will help you start the application process and discuss qualifications.
  • Have you updated your account information in Instant Alert?  Make sure that you have your cell phone number and your email entered so that you will receive the latest updates we send out.  You can update your Instant Alert Account here.
  • Do your friends and neighbors know how to find our weekly updates?  Even if your neighbors don’t have kids in school tell them about our weekly updates so they can hear the great news of what happens at PTSC!
  • Every Wednesday is a 30-minute delayed start.  If we have a 2-hour delay, students will arrive at school 2 hours after the regular start time for the building.
  • We are also looking for bus drivers to drive our extra-curricular runs.  If you are interested, please apply online.  It’s a great way to earn some money and attend extra-curricular events!

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