For the first time in the last 20 years, school is in session and I am working. During the 20 years prior, I always enjoyed these breaks for two reasons. One, is that it gave us an opportunity to do some tweaking for unanticipated issues which would emerge from new implementations. Secondly, it marked the shift in phases in the school cycle, from the start-up of the year to we are rolling up our sleeves and really implementing the changes which had been introduced for that academic year, whether it was new hardware, new software, or changes to the network.
In my new position, this time frame marks the shift into Phase 3. Phase 1, the introductory “getting to know the school” phase ran from July 2nd through August 6th. In Phase 2, attention shifted to all of the projects we were going to kick-off to the year, updating the faculty laptops with data migration, the implementation of Google Apps into our middle school and planning for our 5th grade roll out, the implementation of a new web based system, MyBackPack first to the teachers, for posting of assignments and grade, and then to the middle school parents. We are rolling out to our 3rd – 5th grade parents early next week. We are rolling out an iPad pilot in our 3 year old program up to our 1st grade and implemented iPads and MacBook Pros into our lower and middle school art classrooms. We are also beginning to pilot our first blended learning environment, Haiku, and are still looking to roll out Hapara’s Teacher Dashboard to help support our teacher’s use of Google Docs. All this while getting to know all of the people, the culture, and community. It has been an exciting beginning.
But now, I hope to settle into Phase 3. I am looking forward to begin visiting classrooms so that I can further immerse in the culture and community and begin to experience the curriculum. This research will be critical as I will quickly be moving into Phase 4 of the position, the creating of a learning/technology plan.
It has been hectic, a bit chaotic, but so much fun. Everyone has asked me if I was prepared to deal with the “intensity of the place.” I think I have been doing ok, riding the wave of intensity and staying a bit ahead of the curve. But I am ready to truly immerse myself so that I can experience the core, the heart and soul of the institution.
And oh, yes, continue to build on all of the new initiatives which were rolled out during Phase 2. I look forward to the challenge and adventure.