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home : opinion : between the lines May 25, 2016

4/2/2014 10:07:00 AM
Student Achievement Key To Academic Success
Steve Clason
Whitko Schools Superintendent

The Whitko Board of School Trustees believes the key to educational success is in student achievement.
That’s why they chose it as their #1 goal for this school year. Their challenge to administrators, staff and students was to implement a Personal Learning System that would move our students to greater individual success through 1:1 technology. The task was designed in three phases to be implemented during the 2013-2014 school year.
Phase 1 was introduced at the start of the school year. Middle and high school Algebra students were provided tablets to use in class and at home. By providing appropriate tools, students were able to expand their achievement level through technology.
After review, Phase 2 involved the continued implementation of the PLS by providing technology to all 8th grade students through Windows tablets. The transition to hands on technology available for all subjects was made with both successes and failures identified. Through troubleshooting, problems were recognized and resolved in order to continue to focus of student achievement as the #1 goal.
At this time, Whitko Schools is excited to announce the launch of the next phase of their pilot program this fall. Phase 3 involves all students in Grades 6-12 having an individual technology device to assist them in their educational achievement. What many schools call 1-1 Whitko calls a Personal Learning System (PLS). While 1-1 only states each person gets a device, PLS means not only do they get a device but what they do with it will becomes more and more individualized to assist with remediation, regular classroom work and enrichment for students as appropriate. How does it all work? Glad you asked.
A PLS revolves around each teacher knowing the strengths and weaknesses in a student’s educational background and developing a plan that will best address that students’ needs. Another portion of the puzzle is allowing students to work at home as well as school. To achieve that, Whitko has partnered with Sharp School to provide a system to manage the connectivity for students and teachers.
The last piece is access to the Internet from home. Whitko has also partnered with Performance, LLC to provide low or reduced cost Internet access to our students that currently do not have connectivity. In addition, the systems will allow them to work off line and then synchronize their materials when they get to school.
Today’s students are finding instructional delivery more interesting, challenging and fulfilling with the advancement of technology expanding into their horizons in school and beyond. Whitko Schools look forward to the continued implementation of the Personal Learning System into all schools. We heartily accept the challenges in education today by living up to our motto, Big Enough to Deliver, Small Enough to Care.

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