Exciting Things are HappeningLeonard Presberg
As we move into this busy holiday season, I’m excited about some of wonderful things we have going on in our schools.
We’re exploring a partnership with Southern Crescent Technical College as we continue to try to offer more of our high school students engaging real life hands on technical learning experiences.
A great example of this was showcased a few weeks ago at Sandy Creek High School. More than 200 members of the 2014 Leadership Georgia class heard Fayette County’s Animation Story. Our pilot animation program developed in partnership with industry partners, Toon Boom, the leader in animation software, and Bento Box Entertainment, an Emmy award winning animation studio.
By integrating animation into core curriculum subjects such as physics and English, the program lets students develop their collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, and project management skills.
It is exactly these type of opportunities that allow students to learn and practice the real life skills they will need whether they move on to college, technical school, or directly into the workforce.
We’re also working to expand our Music and Art programs. We’re the recipients of a three year grant that will allow our teachers and students to work directly with professionals from the Woodruff Arts Center.
The Woodruff Arts Center will work with its four partners, Alliance Theatre, Arts for Learning, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and High Museum of Art, to create arts-infused educational experiences that will take place both here in Fayette County and through field trips.
Our first successful program had professionals from the Woodruff’s partners lead our first ever professional learning day for all fine arts teachers in the county. The instructors led teachers in creative and interactive workshops for the first half of the day and teachers spent the second half of the day exchanging ideas and sharing best practices with their colleagues throughout the county.
Opportunities to work with real life professionals in Technology and the arts are exactly the type of opportunities that allow students to learn and practice the real life skills they need. We know from our business leaders that there is a “skills gap” and a need for technically educated workers. We also know that our children today need to be engaged in their education and learn those “soft skills” like time management and working within a group. No matter what the future educational or career path our students may take, these programs offer them essential opportunities to do real life work with real professionals.
We’re about to head into a new year where our legislature is going to look at reworking our entire school funding formula in Georgia, we will have a new State School Superintendent, and a new member of our local school board. We are still working through the issues of the new Georgia Milestones accountability scheme.
Even as we face these challenges we must continue to offer these interesting and innovative programs that are good for children. I’m proud to be a part of the efforts to enhance our technical and arts opportunities for students here in Fayette County.