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Technology to Personalize Learning - & - Winter Weather Decisions

posted Nov 13, 2015, 2:53 PM by Brenda Williams
The 2020 Vision developed for Pequot Lakes Schools with input from our business community, parents, staff, and many others calls for us to provide a rigorous, relevant, and personalized learning experience for each student. Creating learning experiences that are personalized and relevant to careers not yet invented requires students to access and interact with online learning environments and to develop the digital citizenship competencies required for future employment. Over the past two years our district staff has worked to start building the foundation for this shift in teaching and learning, and we are now prepared to begin implementing a plan to increase student access to learning technologies.

After a year-long study of options for creating and sustaining 1-to-1 technology access for students, Pequot Lakes Schools is partnering with Best Buy to roll out an option for students in specific secondary grade levels to purchase a Chromebook at a significantly reduced price. Several districts in MN have paved the way with this innovative approach to providing students with technology in a manner that is fiscally sustainable for smaller districts with restricted resources. Our goal is to provide all secondary students with the option to own a device by the fall of 2018 as we implement a three year phase in and replacement cycle. We are excited to take this next big step in our work to personalize learning for each student and to ensure career and/or college readiness!

Weather Decisions

It’s time again to remind everyone how school closing decisions are made and communicated related to MN winter weather. When weather is questionable, I will be in contact with our transportation director, public safety and transportation officials, and area superintendents. Our transportation director and/or I often choose to drive some of the most difficult roads to confirm conditions on the ground. Our goal is to make a decision by 5:30am or no later than 6am, as we have employees rolling into work by that time. We will communicate the message to families and staff first through our automated phone calling system, and then through our district website and the following radio/TV stations: 107.5, 106.7, 93.3, 103.5, 102.7, KKIN Aitkin, WCCO, KARE-11, KMSP (Fox 9), KSTP, WDIO/WIRT TV, and www.cancellations.com.

The decision to delay or close school is based on the safety of our students while also recognizing that any change of routine puts a significant strain on many of our hard working families. Our excellent team of bus drivers will always put a safe bus ride ahead of an on-time bus ride. Parents have the right to keep children at home if they feel it is not safe to send them out. As a general rule, we will run school if we can get buses started and transport students safely.

-- Chris Lindholm, Superintendent of Schools
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