The interaction and questions from Twitter have become a vibrant, active part of Hilliard Schools’ communication efforts. While I try to provide answers directly in Twitter when possible, some of the questions require more than 140 characters to provide responsible answers. I’ve addressed a few of these below.
Remember – Thursday, March 13th from 8-9 p.m. will be our next Twitter-Connection Tweet-up. Please join that conversation at #AskHCS.
Q. One part-time social worker for 16,000 kids. Any plans to change that – add mental health people for safety and prevention?
A. Yes, we have a growing number of social needs within our district. While we don’t currently have any specific plans to add district staff, we have entered into a new partnership with Syntero Counsel Services. This partnership brings a wealth of services and resources to our district. Furthermore, by partnering directly with counseling services, we are better able to provide a robust portfolio of options to students and families.
Q. Multiple questions/comments about starting high school later in the day.
A. Yes, much of the research clearly points towards teenagers requiring additional sleep. The reality is much more complicated and socially engrained. While it seems like it would be easy to simply “flip” elementary and secondary schedules – there are child care, work force and scheduling dilemmas that often create unbreakable barriers. For example – if our elementary schools were to start at 7:45 a.m., the students would be dismissed at 2:50 p.m. We can’t send elementary aged students home to empty houses. Also, many of our high school students are in internships and/or employed after school hours – developing skills and earning money necessary for future success.
Q. Why do we have delayed starts when we’ve missed so much school?
A. Our teachers and staff need time to keep up-to-date with current mandates and instructional practices. Our district is committed to preparing students to be ready for tomorrow. A key to fulfilling this mission is ensuring our teachers have time to develop their craft. The implementation of technology, development of new curriculum and preparation for the next generation assessments all require different skills. The time teachers have for professional development isn’t nearly enough – many of our teachers spend hours and hours of time outside the school day dedicated to preparing to give their very best for our students. The few times in the school year we provide some extra time for professional development are simply a building block to better learning experiences for students.
Q. How are you going to keep students engaged once there aren’t calamity days?
A. First of all, I am eager to see warmer weather and welcome spring to Hilliard. It has been a long, cold winter; I am done! Secondly, I will continue to seek opportunities to engage our great Hilliard Schools students. I will post weekly questions on Twitter specifically for students. Last week I posted a question about tests or projects – which is a better measure of student learning. I hope to post a question per week – I love hearing from the students in our district.