Morgan County RE-3 School District Superintendent Dr. James Hammack was excited to share that the district would have Chromebook laptops available for district students and most of the faculty for this upcoming school year.
“It’s a very big step forward for our school district in being able to provide instruction that is centered around technology that effectively prepares our kids for the sorts of careers and challenges that they will face in a high-tech culture and high-tech society in which they’ll be living in,” Hammack said.
Hammack lauded the efforts of Brian Amack, Director of Technology with the district, for his efforts in making this possible.
“Between teachers and students, we’re issuing 3,700 new Chromebooks next year,” Hammack said. “Every kid in our buildings, with the exception of kindergarten, will be one-to-one.”
He said they had expected to be able to reach the majority of students with the laptops, but were pleasantly surprised to realized they would be able to make a laptop available for more than 3,300 students and most of their several hundred faculty members.
“We didn’t realize we had the ability to roll out a complete one-to-one laptop model for every single student in our district,” Hammack said. “It’s pretty amazing.”
He said the school district team made this possible through district funds and not through additional grant funding.
Morgan County RE-3 School District grades first through ninth and for Lincoln High School will start Aug. 15. Classes will start on Aug. 16 for grades 10 to 12 at Fort Morgan High School.
Kindergarten classes are scheduled to start Aug. 22 and Learning Express Preschool is scheduled to begin Sept. 3.
Hammack said they were also excited about the construction and deferred maintenance they have worked on at several district facilities this summer
“We’ve done a lot of work around updates to our Fort Morgan High School,” Hammack said. “We’re updating a couple of different restroom facilities, putting in new carpeting in all of our classrooms, hallways and stairwells for our second floor.”
Hammack said they are also doing window and roof maintenance for Green Acres Elementary School and Sherman Early Childhood Center.
“We’ve replaced a number of our outside basketball courts at our elementary school areas and fixed some drainage areas at Lincoln School,” Hammack continued. “We’re doing chiller and boiler work at our Baker Elementary School.”
At the Fort Morgan Middle School, Hammack said they are working on replacing the physical education field turf.
The district also cleaned and updated their parking lots this summer. For the high school and the district, they are working on a large outdoor storage facility.
“We’re pushing forward on so many fronts, it’s exciting,” Hammack added.
Once the construction is completed, Hammack said they will focus on their plans for the 2020 summer construction goals, from a new entrance way for the high school to updated science lab facilities.
Hammack said they are also working on professional development and feedback techniques for district administrators and teachers.
“We advanced an instructional rounds model for improving quality of instructional practice with all of our teachers,” Hammack said.
“On average our principals were in our buildings, seeing teachers and giving them feedback, about 225 times in each of our buildings on average last year,” Hammack said.
The instructional rounds strategy is about more effective feedback among district staff, Hammack says.
“What we’re really focusing this year is improving the feedback loop with those instructional rounds,” Hammack said. “We’ll be doing a pretty sophisticated feedback model with a lot of instructional coaching attached to that model.”
“We really believe that’s going to be a difference-maker for our principals, our instructional coaches and our regular classroom teachers, working together to deliver even better quality instruction to our students,” he added.
Hammack said they were also excited about the new addition to the Fort Morgan High School, Principal Erik Good.
“We’re super excited to have Mr. Erik Good taking on that new leadership role,” Hammack said. “Mr. Good comes with us with exemplary credentials.”
Hammack said Good was previously a high school principal at a school in Maine and in New Haven, Connecticut.
The New Haven public school district, Hammack says, “is a large, urban district.”
“He comes to us with a resume of tremendous accomplishments and achievements,” Hammack said, adding that Good is a Yale University graduate.
Hammack said they are very happy working with Good with his time with the district so far.
“He’s a very sharp guy with a strong curriculum background and is a strong educational leader,” Hammack added. “He’s just the ticket we were looking for as a leader for our Fort Morgan High School.”
Morgan Community College
Hammack said they were excited about the options available for district students to work with Morgan Community College this year.
“We’re trying to build more effective working relationships with Morgan Community College to increase options for our students to get college credit for their career and technical education coursework,” Hammack said.
For the MCC courses available to Fort Morgan High School students, “They have just extended us a super generous financing ability,” Hammack said. “They are paying for 95 percent of the tuition for our kids to either get concurrent education or career and technical education at the college.”
Hammack thanked MCC President Dr. Curt Freed and their team for working with the district on this opportunity.
“Our kids can get a great big jump on post secondary readiness by going that route,” Hammack added. “We are so thankful to the work of the Morgan Community College, their instructors and their leadership.”[“source=fortmorgantimes”]