The Lakota School District will be taking a survey among both parents and other community residents, to assess the progress of instructional technology initiatives across the district. The survey will assess how the district uses instructional technology for educational purposes.
Emma King hugs her mom, Mandy, before getting on the bus for first day of school at Adena Elementary last August (2011). Photo taken by Adam Kiefaber.
Local students in grades 1-12 will return to school this morning, as the Lakota school district begins its 2012-2013 academic year.
On the first day, students will have to adjust to a few changes including shorter school days for high school and junior high students, a healthier breakfast and lunch menu, as well as being allowed to use personal wireless devices for educational purposes.
During a focus group at the Lakota Central Office May 3, 2012, it was the students teaching Lakota administrators on how to better run the state’s seventh-largest school system. The focus group influenced the Lakota Board of Education to allow the use of wireless devices in the classroom. In picture, Lakota student Jennifer Shafer shares her opinion. Photo taken by Adam Kiefaber.
When Lakota high school students arrive for the first day of school Thursday, they will be able to use something in the classroom that they haven’t been able to use before – their cell phone.
Based on the recommendation by students of the state’s seventh-largest school system, the Lakota school board approved revised policies that now allow its students to use personal Wireless Communication Devices (WCDs) in school.
Students voiced their desire to use WCDs, which include laptop computers, tablets, e-book readers, some iPods and all types of mobile phones, during student-led focus groups with Lakota officials. The focus groups took place in May, as the school district looked for more effective ways to educate its students.
While the students got their wish, there is a catch, as they can only use their wireless devices for instructional purposes and with the permission of a teacher.
Students will also be able to use the devices before and after school, during lunch, and in between classes as long as they’re not creating a distraction, disruption or otherwise interfering with the educational environment.
“This is something we’ve been working on for a long time,” said Ben Dibble, president of the Lakota Board of Education. “Wireless devices are part of many workplaces and part of daily life, and they need to be part of schools as well, especially with all the new ways they can be used in the classroom.”
Beginning this fall, Lakota East and Lakota West high schools will be piloting a “Bring Your Own Technology” initiative. The data collected from the initiative will provide the district a model for a broader rollout of the program.
“A major impetus for this came from the students,“ Lakota Superintendent Karen Mantia said. “They told us last year that they have these devices and they want to use them in class, for learning, just as they use them in so many other areas of their lives.”
Obviously, there will be restrictions on student use of WCDs. For example, students will not be allowed to use devices in locker rooms or bathrooms. They will also be required to turn off their phones during tests or throughout testing week.
Students, who violate the district’s policy on WCDs, may be subject to discipline and may have their device confiscated. Illegal activity will prompt the district to alert local law enforcement.
For more information on rules and restrictions of WCDs in the classroom, visit lakotaonline.com.
During a focus group at the Lakota Central Office May 3, 2012, it was the students teaching Lakota administrators on how to better run the state’s seventh-largest school system. In picture, Lakota student Jennifer Shafer shares her opinion. Photo taken by Adam Kiefaber.
To let West Chester and Liberty Township residents catch up with the news that they need to know, WestChesterBuzz.com will list and link to all of last week’s top local stories every Monday.
Former Lakota West football players get chance with Bengals – Lakota West graduates Grant Hunter and Josh Chichester will both have the opportunity to prove to the Cincinnati Bengals that they are worth a roster spot. Hunter, who played linebacker at Butler, was among one of the 14 college free agents that the Bengals signed Wednesday. While Chichester, was one of the three players with local ties who were invited to try out at next weekend’s, May 11-13, rookie minicamp.
Ex-assistant prosecutor indicted in Butler County – Sheila McLaughlin reported last week that a former Butler County assistant prosecutor was himself indicted for allegedly forging an indictment against an alleged robber. Jason Phillabaum, who has been working in private practice, is charged with two counts each of forgery and tampering with records and misdemeanor charges of derelection of duty, interference with civil rights and using a sham legal process.
After-Hours on The Square at Union Centre 2012 schedule – DV8 will kick off the 2012 season of the First Financial Bank After-Hours on The Square concert series in West Chester May 24. The band will perform from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Square at Union Centre. The concert series will take place every Thursday
Mojo Running moves to new location – Mojo Running, the West Chester running specialty store, is itself on the move. The shop relocated from 9318 Union Center Blvd in the U.S. Bank Plaza to a more visible space two miles away, at 8777 Cincinnati Dayton Road in Olde West Chester, near the Post Office, owner Paul Heintz said.
Lakota West sweeps rival – For the second time in four days, a Lakota West pitcher shutout the defending Division I baseball state champions. Behind sophomore pitcher Grant Schuermann, Lakota West blanked the Lakota East Thunderhawks by the score of 3-0 on April 27. Then, last Monday, it was senior Zak Farmer who shutout Lakota East in a 7-0 victory at the Hawks Nest.
During a focus group session at the Lakota Central Office Thursday, it was the students teaching Lakota administrators on how to better run the state’s seventh-largest school system.
The student-led focus group was the first of four sessions with Lakota officials, as the school district looks for more effective ways to educate its students.
“Students will tell you the truth and that is what we are looking for,” Lakota Superintendent Karen Mantia said. “We want to make sure we are responsive school system in meeting their needs. In order to do that, we need to ask them.
“This is just the tip of the ice berg.”
After the discussions with students, Mantia said that he hopes to extend an invitation for future focus groups with teachers and eventually with the community.
Among the topics covered, during the two-hour student focus group, included what ways students learn the best, how technology plays a role in their learning, what skills do they think they need to know for their future and what changes need to be made to the school system.
Lakota West senior Melody Stewart shares her opinion during a student focus group at the Lakota Central Office May 3, 2012. Photo taken by Adam Kiefaber.
One change some of the students agreed on was the district needing to be more lenient with online restrictions. Currently, students cannot visit websites like Twitter, Facebook and other blogs while on school grounds.
“Anything that could help us with our studies should be allowed,” Lakota West senior Melody Stewart said. “If that means going on Facebook to get something, then we should be allowed to do that. If you abuse that privilege than it should be taken away, but for educational purposes we should be able to go online and search for what we need.”
Stewart, who played volleyball in the Lakota school system and will continue her athletic career at Northern Kentucky University, also thought that the school system should focus on having more extracurricular activities.
“If I didn’t play volleyball, I don’t think that would be as involved in the school today,” Stewart said. “I think these activities help students feel connected to the school district. I believe we should get students more involved and have more extracurricular activities so they can have that connection and feel what I felt.”
Another Lakota athlete, who still has two more years of high school before he graduates, worries about the change in the academic schedule when the high schools move to six-period days in the fall.
“Next year is going to be a lot harder because we only have six periods,” said Lakota West sophomore Malik Grove, who has played varsity football, basketball and bowling. “You still need to earn enough credits. I will still need another foreign language and a fine arts class. I only have two years left to get those in order to get into to a good college.”
Meanwhile, Stewart hopes Grove and other future graduates will receive the same education she received while at Lakota.
“When I leave, I don’t want to see the school district go down the drain. I want them to keep improving,” Stewart said. “My experience at Lakota was great. I feel that I am very prepared for the future and I want other students who come up to feel the same way.
“I really hope that this meeting will give the school district a lot of information to keep improving our studies … because I believe there are many things that we can to do, to better prepare students for college and the workforce.”