At Warroad Public Schools, everyone wears a lot of hats. Instead of departments full of people, they have people who run a lot of departments. For example, the high school principal is the principal for grades five through 12, and he's the district assessment coordinator. The elementary school principal has three different schools that she's the principal of. The Dean of students is also the activities and community education director. The special education director is also the director of all student intervention services, including 504s, the title program and is the homeschool liaison. Nicole Abernathy, the Innovation Facilitator at Warroad Public Schools is also the innovation facilitator. She covers all of curriculum and instruction, professional learning and development and training, as well as all EdTech integration for the school district.
According to Abernathy, “When COVID hit last year, we actually didn't even have an IT director at the time, we had an offsite, IT support group and an onsite tech, who really just took care of some boots on the ground type things. So, when we talk about our capacity to be able to move through innovation, we also have to look at who we have available to do that. I love hearing about some of these larger districts where they start talking about their departments of people and their director here and their director there and their coach here and their coach there.”
Needless to say, success and innovation at Warroad is a very hands-on affair. Yet Warroad has plenty of both – innovation and success, and they are known nationwide for their innovative approach to digital learning. Watch this enlightening, inspirational (and sometimes surprising) video to see how Warroad leveraged their assets to create a truly progressive district for personalized learning.