Superintendent's Message

Education is a complex endeavor and is becoming increasingly more so. In ancient societies, elders drew in the dirt with a stick to illustrate a point. In the early years of formalized education, teachers wrote with chalk on a blackboard. Later classrooms were filled with books, paper, and pencils to aid in the communication process. In the 21st Century, many of the educational resources are web-based, and much of our regular communication occurs digitally.

Because of a need to access necessary resources and to provide greater opportunities for communication and collaboration, Cocalico School District has chosen to implement a three-phase initiative we call Mission iNSPIRE. The phases of the initiative are as follows:

2014-2015—A set of 10 iPads was added to every grade K-2 classroom.

2015-2016—A laptop was provided to every student in grades 5-8, and to every pair of students in grades 3-4. Additional iPads were provided so that every pair of students in K-2 would have access to a device.

2016-2017—A laptop was designated for every student in grades 9-12.

In addition to providing devices, we have also provided Schoology access to teachers, students, and parents. Schoology is a learning management system that provides a platform for teachers to post materials, link related sources, and assign projects. Students can submit their assignments through this tool, collaborate and discuss material, and more. At the secondary level, parents can check assignments and submissions, as well.

With this increased access to digital devices and tools, teachers have engaged in multiple training events and have spent many hours working together to update their materials and adapt them for a more digital learning environment. They have compiled many digital resources that provide remediation, repeated practice, and extension of classroom learning. This has provided students with more access to materials, support, and enrichment activities.

As a district, we have been very pleased with students' responsible use of the devices and teachers' creative approaches for inspiring and supporting student learning in ways that better meet the needs of every child, every day. We appreciate the support of the School Board, parents, and the broader community as we utilize these digital tools. Together, we will continue to explore new methods and practices for empowering students to achieve their fullest potential.

Dr. Ella H. Musser, Cocalico School District

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