Our educators are required to complete regular training to improve classroom effectiveness and to keep up with evolving techniques and trends in education. Our leaders, who work to make decisions that are in the best interest of our students, also depend on insight from our scholars and their families. Community feedback makes us better.
As part of this ongoing, open dialogue, our district leaders host face-to-face discussions with our students. Recently, Supt. Patrick Mapes and Assoc. Supt. for career preparation Robert Bohannon arranged two working lunches with students at Perry Meridian and Southport high schools.
During the lunch, students – representing all grade levels – were invited to speak freely about their experiences in elementary through high school. They were able to talk about their positive experience and provide constructive feedback to help us get better – suggestions that can benefit students for years to come. Students were encouraged to be honest about their hopes and dreams for the district, as well as their concerns. Our leaders listened without judgment.
Students shared their concerns about nicotine use among their peers and described their classmates’ attitude about drug use. They believe their friends may be unaware of the risks of electronic cigarettes.
As the conversation turned to academics, our scholars recommended an earlier introduction to foreign language options so young students have more time to become proficient. They also described their experience with Naviance, a college and career readiness platform that connects what students are learning in school to what they want to do in life. Completing the introductory year of the program, students explained the features that worked well, in addition to the features that weren’t maximized to their potential – an observation that administrators are working to remedy in the next phase of the platform’s rollout. It’s imperative for students to feel fully supported while filling out college applications, scholarship forms, and preparing for the future.
Students also provided insightful comments about our ongoing security measures. They asked questions about the introduction of ID badges and lanyards, which will be required at both high schools starting July 2019. Students also described parking lot challenges and congestion, which immediately led to traffic control improvements at Southport High School.
It was inspiring to see such well-rounded students making thoughtful decisions about their futures and the future of our district. Conversations, such as these, help build a better district for our Perry Township community.