District Administration October 2017 - 15

blocked tall delivery trucks and were
sometimes knocked down by large trees
during storms, causing power outages.
In addition, the district upgraded
the heating system from diesel boilers
to propane and natural gas. It also installed A/C and high-efficiency particulate air filters.
Special monitors, new testing
Every classroom in the district now
has a smartboard and a Prowise touchscreen-a computer monitor that can
handle up to 15 users simultaneously.
"An instructor can teach from both
screens simultaneously or have some
students on a smartboard, a few on the
Prowise and the rest on their Chromebooks or iPads," says Ray.
The funding for the mold remediation project also enabled the district to
expand student assessment initiatives.
With each student getting a Chromebook or iPad, the district implemented
diagnostic testing from the Northwest
Evaluation Association. "Struggling
students can tackle an easier course load
without other students finding out, so
kids aren't embarrassed," Ray adds.
Unexpected benefits
Since the district created the classrooms
a year ago, student performance, morale
and achievement have increased.
For the first time, 56 percent of students are at or above the Common Core
standard in English, Ray says.
Attendance rates have also risen from
88 percent in 2013 to 96 percent last
spring. (State average is 95 percent.)
Meanwhile, the rate of students performing at or above state level in every
subject and all grade levels have risen
from 8 percent to 24 percent in the
same four-year period.
"From the air students breathe all
the way up to the technology they use,
the classrooms provide students with a
totally different environment from what
they had before," says Ray.
Steven Wyman-Blackburn is web editor.
www.DistrictAdministration.com

Is it too late to drop a class? I'm drowning with 17 hours.
STUDENT

9/1/15 4:07 PM

No, you have until Oct 23, Talk to your adviser first before you drop a class to make
sure you don't drop a class you need to stay on track with your major

COUNSELOR

9/1/15 4:12 PM

A TASTE OF TEXTS-An example of text exchange between a student and
counselor.

Texts keep seniors on college track
By Matt Zalaznick
Text messages are one of the most effeccan have mobile conversations with comtive ways to keep high school students on mission staff or counselors at the college
track once they've begun the college apin which they've enrolled. The texts conplication and enrollment process.
tinue through the student's first year in
About 1 in 5 high school seniors who
college, with messages about campus acenroll in college never show up, and that
tivities and returning for spring semester.
rate is closer to 40 percent for students
A commission study showed that in
of color. To reverse this trend, a range of
2014 the program's participants comcompanies, state agencies and nonprofits
pleted more college credit hours and
now send automated messages before
had higher GPAs than did students who
and after college acceptance-a process
didn't receive texts, Kennedy says.
known as "nudging."
In Minnesota, the state's Office of
The texts remind students of imporHigher Education partners with about
tant deadlines-such as when to register
400 high schools to send students text
for the SAT, apply for financial aid and
reminders about the enrollment process.
sign-up for campus housing.
Nationally, the Up Next texting
What makes these messages even
campaign-part of the nonprofit Better
more effective is that students can reMake Room college-access initiative-
spond with questions and get answers
assists students and parents with college
from real life advisors. "Unlike an email,
searches, financial aid and voter registraa text captures a student's attention imtion. The national nonprofit Jobs for the
mediately," says Jessica Kennedy, who
Future also launched a college texting
oversaw the texting program at West
program geared toward STEM students.
Virginia's Higher Education Policy Com- "Meeting students where they are," says
mission until she left the agency in SepDon Yu, director of Better Make Room,
tember. "It's on the device they're hold"speaking their language and delivering
ing-it pings and it flashes and there's an bite-size information at critical junctures
opportunity to instantly respond."
dramatically simplifies the college-going
West Virginia begins texting about
process for low-income, minority and
10,000 seniors each September to "keep
first-generation college students."
up a drumbeat of reminders," says Kennedy. Throughout the school year, seniors Matt Zalaznick is senior associate editor.
October 2017 15


http://www.DistrictAdministration.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration October 2017

District Administration October 2017 - Cover1
District Administration October 2017 - Cover2
District Administration October 2017 - 1
District Administration October 2017 - 2
District Administration October 2017 - 3
District Administration October 2017 - 4
District Administration October 2017 - 5
District Administration October 2017 - 6
District Administration October 2017 - 7
District Administration October 2017 - 8
District Administration October 2017 - 9
District Administration October 2017 - 10
District Administration October 2017 - 11
District Administration October 2017 - 12
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District Administration October 2017 - Cover3
District Administration October 2017 - Cover4
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