Summer Isn’t an End . . . It’s a beginning

DSC_0026Summer has a special place in our society. From Alice Cooper’s Schools out for Summer to The Summer of ’69 with Bryan Adams there is a certain magic about the warm, long sun filled days of summer.

Without a doubt summer is a change of pace for those of us that work in schools. One of my favorite aspects of summer is golf shirts verse dress shirts, ties and suits. While summer is certainly a time to relax, it isn’t a time that schools come to a stop. The district will continue to be active planning for August 19th, the first day of school, each and every day during the summer months.

On the very first day of the student’s vacation, a talented and dedicated group of science and technology teachers embarked on a new journey for our district. The Hilliard City School District is crafting, collecting and writing our own digital science curriculum for students in grades 6 through 9. This new digital curriculum will be Hilliard’s; we will be able to edit, add to, improve and amend this curriculum in real time. We won’t be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a textbook series. Sure, we may purchase some digital content, but our teachers will also be curators of digital information. From open source information to district created lessons . . . this is Hilliard’s Curriculum. Our staff is hard at work ensuring that Hilliard is Ready of Tomorrow.

In June and August teachers will be attending various summer academy opportunities. These sessions provide support in a variety of areas including blended learning, technology integration in the classroom, literacy skills and other innovative teaching strategies. In early August Hilliard will once again be hosting the Innovative Learning Environment (ILE) Conference. This statewide conference pulls nationally recognized experts together to inspire and empower our administrators, teachers and staff to seek innovative learning opportunities for our students. Teachers from Alton Darby and Darby Creek elementary schools have already met to begin conversations about how the combined power at these “sister schools” can be harnessed to increase opportunities an efficiencies for our school community.

These formal opportunities are just a fraction of the work done by educators during the summer. Teachers are already planning lessons, researching new practices and sharing ideas for the start of the next school year. Simply stated, when education is in your DNA is doesn’t stop during the summer months . . . it is time to reflect, to dream and to embrace new practices.