GREEN BAY - The superintendent of Green Bay's School District says it's time to make education more personalized.
In her "State of the District" address on Tuesday, Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld said customizing education to meet each student's individual needs for success will help improve test scores and graduation rates.
The district says it hopes to address those needs by a philosophy of "your choice, your path, your tomorrow."
Langenfeld says the district looks to expand the following programs:
- K-12 International Baccalaureate
- Spanish Immersion
- Gifted Learning at Langlade School
- Nature-based 4K at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary
- John Dewey Academy of Learning
- iLearnGreenBay integrated learning (grades 9 & 10)
- East Institute for Fine Arts
- NWTC partnerships for middle schoolers
"We recognize that every student is different and that schools can't look the same anymore," said Langenfeld.
Langenfeld says the programs will stay within the district's budget by reallocating resources. She does not expect higher taxes or a referendum to approve the programs.
Langenfeld hopes these initiatives will keep students in the district, providing an alternative to open enrollment and school vouchers.
"We must first be responsive to the students that we serve. We listen to the community and what our parents are asking for. And we know that the programs we're putting in place people are coming to and staying," said Langenfeld.
The president of the Green Bay Education Association says for the first time in years, this new plan for the 2013-2014 school year truly is collaborative.
"They listened to the feedback from the staff and tried to put some of that in," said Lori Cathey, president of GBEA.
Both teachers and administrators say they hope by working together with parents and students, each child will be able to write their own success story.
The superintendent outlined student readiness as a main area that the district could improve upon.
Last year, 20 percent of incoming kindergarteners could not recognize letters or numbers, and could not properly write with a pencil. Langenfeld says it will take involvement on all fronts: parents, birth-to-three-years educators, and the community at large to make sure these children have the skills to learn.
The Green Bay Area Public School District will host two sessions this week for parents, students and the community. It will focus on these new areas of education customization.
The first session will be on Thursday, January 24, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at East High School. The second will be on Saturday, January 26 at West High School from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
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