Dear Bulldog Supporters—
For this report, I want to come back and shed a bit more light on the topic of technology in our district. During the last two years, the Garfield Heights City Schools has made a considerable investment of district dollars to greatly enhance the technology, as well as the access to technology for elementary students. This investment is the result of the district's curriculum team seeing the need to integrate technology into everyday academic routines for the students. The process to this point is preparing our students for the future, with the district's youngest Bulldogs engaging in advanced levels of digital technology to make them more academically prepared.
The idea of the steady integration of more technology-based opportunities for students helps to fulfill the vision of the district, which is to prepare our students with 21st century skills. This, along with the fact that the state intends to procure tests online, and the need to make the use of technology an everyday skill is apparent. Adding skills such as keyboarding, proper "netiquette" or online etiquette, and exposure to various creative programs "creates an interesting approach to learning, which helps them become better students," according to district curriculum director, Dr. Randy Continenza.
The district's elementary technology team has done a tremendous job of incorporating this curriculum into students' everyday school routines. The curriculum component and the technology component begin their natural overlap at each of the three elementary buildings, William Foster, Elmwood and Maple Leaf, which each have their own exclusive computer labs. Working hand-in-hand with Dr. Continenza is Garfield Heights director of technology, Shari Bailey. Each elementary computer lab had thirty Chrome devices for student use. In addition, every kindergarten and pre-K classroom has been equipped with 5 iPads, and the 4th and 5th grade classrooms in the district feature 7 Chrome books (grades 1-3 have 7 PC netbooks in each classroom). This supplements the installation of projectors and SMART boards - we do not use SMART products in the district except for one classroom at the high school. We use interactive white boards - mostly eInstruction - in many of the elementary classrooms already. In all, this technology team is blending the value of a solid curriculum with today's latest trends in digital learning.
And finally, the Garfield Heights City Schools has put together a "first-class" effort to promote kindergarten registration this year. A "Little Bulldog" kindergarten registration event is being held on Wednesday, March 19 and Thursday, March 20, whereby parents of students who are going into kindergarten next year can pick up their applications, learn about our free, summertime pre-kindergarten program called Kinderbound, meet our kindergarten teachers and principals and have fun. Hot dogs and drinks will be served. Good job to the team that has put this event together. Kindergarten registration will take place from Monday, April 14 through Thursday, April 17 and again on Monday, April 28 through Thursday, May 1. Please take advantage of this opportunity for your students. Signing up for kindergarten now will ensure the proper development of your student at an early age.
Thank you for your continued support of the Garfield Heights City Schools, and as always...GO LITTLE BULLDOGS!
Terry Olszewski, Superintendent
Garfield Heights City Schools