ID, MT, WY - Local Panel of Administrators: “Our Digital Transition”
Our Local panel of administrators’ discussion is one of the most popular features at the Learning Counsel’s regional Digital Discussion events. This discussion features Dr. Jeff Dillon, Superintendent at the Wilder School District, Debbie Fisher, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment at the Albany County School District #1, and Dr. Sherawn Reberry, Principal of the Virtual School House at West Ada School District. In this virtual roundtable discussion, you’ll hear how these best-in-the-nation administrators are making virtual and hybrid learning work for their students.
According to Dr. Jeff Dillion, “We had a chance to reflect after last spring, and with the demographics of the students we serve, it doesn’t help not having them on campus. Our opening plan was about getting kids back on campus and we did whatever we could to make it happen. We supported the staff, making sure it was safe for staff as well as students to do that because the parents had the opportunity to voice or their choice of sending kids back on campus or learning virtually. We had 20 percent of our parents choose to keep their kids at home and 80 percent said send them to school. So, we had to create that flexible environment. We had the opportunity to hire the appropriate staff, move some staff around, and get the appropriate supervision in place to make sure we're supporting every single student in the district, whether they're on campus or off campus.
“I think our plan worked out really, really well for students, but what made it successful was the fact that we implemented technology a long time ago. And we embedded social, emotional, soft skill development as a priority with technology. We knew that technology wasn't the savior of education. It was going to be a tool that we needed for education. The goal was to really create the student that could use a device to learn with, as a tool to be engaged, to empower them to move forward with content, to empower them to ask really questions and to know when to ask questions.”
Here in the Great Northwest of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, populations may be sparse but academic talent abounds. This discussion is all about methods for success, and these three administrators keep the ideas coming fast and furious(ly). If you only watch one video, this is the one. It is chock full of great solutions. (But since you’re watching, watch them all. Your students [and their parents] will thank you for it).