August 30, 2017
Dear Grant Community,
I would like to welcome back returning Grant families and extend a warm welcome to all of the families new to Grant. We are off and running with the new school year, and I cannot help but look forward with anticipation for all of the exciting opportunities this school year has in store for our students.
We have certainly had a busy summer, and I am excited to share some of the steps forward we are taking this year. With the completion of our small classroom addition, technology infrastructure updates, and the opening of the Bulldog Athletic Complex, our facilities are prepared for the new school year and support our goal of Improving Student Achievement.
Moreover, because we believe a sustained effort to improve our curriculum and instruction is at the forefront of improving student achievement, we continue to work diligently in these areas. Notably, this year we have expanded our Future Ready Technology Pilot into a broader Field Study. We are pleased with the promise of the Pilot, and the expanded Field Study includes teachers on Professional Learning Teams for Algebra I, Chemistry, English 12, Spanish 1 & 2, and World History. Those classes have Chromebooks dedicated exclusively to them and will utilize the learning management system Schoology. The Field Study aims to enhance the learning experience for students, not simply use technology for the sake of technology. Our focus of this work is to study how technology enhances student learning and increases engagement.
Additionally, one outcome of last year’s Pilot was the realization that the incorporation of technology alters the use of physical classroom space, student-student interactions, and student-teacher interactions. The traditional classroom furniture, while sufficient for more traditional instruction, was less than ideal when incorporating more 21st Century Learning Skills. Therefore, the original five pilot teacher’s classrooms were modified this summer to make them more conducive to 21st Century Learning. Teachers are piloting a variety of student desks, chairs, and peripheral furniture, and all five rooms were fitted with interactive projectors and carpeting. As the year progresses, we will be assessing the impact these changes have on students.
Beyond our work with Future Ready School, I am excited to share that we have reinvigorated the ways we communicate with parents and students. If you have not done so yet, please check us out on our new Facebook, Grant Community High School District 124, and Twitter, @GrantBulldogs, accounts. These platforms will not replace any existing methods of communication, like Skyward and the website, but they will supplement them, and we look forward to engaging students, parents, and the community in new ways.
Every school year comes with excitement for what the year will hold, but this school year feels exceptionally hopeful. With all of the positive changes taking place, there is no doubt that new doors will be opened for students and that positive learning opportunities will lead to increased student achievement.
Our entire school is focused and ready for students to engage in their learning, so please join us by encouraging your student to make the most out of the opportunities Grant provides. These opportunities, in many ways, begin with Back-to-School Night on September 7, at 7:00 p.m. Back-to-School Night is a nice opportunity to meet your student’s teachers, become familiar with the curriculum and expectations, as well as show your student you support the work they do every day at school. I look forward to seeing you there as well as at many events throughout the course of the year.
Again, welcome and I wish you a wonderful school year.
Mr. Jeremy Schmidt