Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Wish I Had Said . . .

Sharon Geary and I did a presentation for the School Board on our Classrooms for the Future (CFF) grant on Monday night. The Board must vote to accept the grant money before we can implement the program. The vote will be taken at the Board's meeting on September 17.

Although the presentation went well and Board members asked some excellent questions, when I reflected on the evening, there were a couple of things I wish I had said.

  • On the 30 hours of mandatory staff development for each teacher participating in the CFF program: I wish I had said that our teachers are willingly taking on a lot of extra work so our students can benefit from CFF. Teachers are leaving their teaching comfort zones to learn a different style of teaching that will hopefully better meet the diverse learning needs of today's students. It would be much easier for our teachers to keep the status quo and teach as they have for years. But to their credit, they're giving the time and effort needed to implement this grant. That says a lot about our teachers.

  • On sustaining the program beyond the grant period: I wish I had said that when it's time to replace the laptops three or four years down the road, the laptops will probably be less expensive than they are now. Also, we might find that we can shift dollars from other resources (such as replacement textbooks) to help fund replacement laptops. Some districts are finding that teachers prefer to use quality, always-current Internet resources instead of textbooks that are quickly outdated. I also wish I had pointed out that we will continue to write grants to help fund our technology program and that the Keystone Education Foundation will undoubtedly be more financially sound down the road and better able to help sustain our technology program.

  • On accepting the CFF grant: We need to do this for our students.

Unfortunately, I received notice this afternoon that our grant award was reduced by $11,200 due to an error in calculating our allocation. Still, we can do a lot with $157,000!

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