School district will offer dialogue and dessertFarmington superintendent Jay Haugen sees school officials as public servants, so he really doesn’t see providing homemade pie as that unusual when he talks about the state of School District 192 next week. “It’s really part of who I am and how we serve our communities,” Haugen said. “I think it’s important to gather people together, give them a forum to hear about the schools and gather input.”
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
Farmington superintendent Jay Haugen sees school officials as public servants, so he really doesn’t see providing homemade pie as that unusual when he talks about the state of School District 192 next week.
“It’s really part of who I am and how we serve our communities,” Haugen said. “I think it’s important to gather people together, give them a forum to hear about the schools and gather input.”
Haugen plans to start his roundtable discussions, Dialogue and Desserts, with three open visits with the community next week. It’s something he plans to do on a fairly regular basis.
Granted, it is the holiday season and there are concerts and parties and events that will vie for parents’ time, but that’s why he’s set up three different sessions, at different times and in different locations. It’s his hope that anyone who is interested in what’s happening in Farmington schools these days can make at least one of the sessions.
He’s got a few key subjects to start with. First, he plans to update those in attendance on the facility needs around the district, and how some of those needs can be met with the money available. The district recently brought in experts to look at building needs and found there were more than previously thought. Haugen plans to share that information with school board members at next week’s regular meeting, but then present it to the community the next two nights.
From there, Haugen wants to move on to budget issues. By the time next week’s roundtables are held, School District 192 should have some firmer numbers from its recent audit. Those numbers will go a long way to planning the coming year’s budget. But that’s where Haugen wants a little feedback, too – district officials might have different priorities than parents, so that’s what he’d like to hear before going into the next budget season.
“It’s kind of the full picture, starting this new calendar year, 2012. Here’s the state of the district, here are some of the things we think are changes we may want to make in the school district, new directions we may want to take, and then getting people’s thoughts on that,” he said.
Haugen wants to update school board goals, but in doing so, make those goals concrete – something that can be measured so school officials know whether they are achieving the successes they desire. One of those goals, Haugen said, is the concept of “customizing education,” where teachers are able to develop customized education plans for every student in their classes.
Part of that plan will be to introduce a new concept in education that Farmington students will be trying very soon.
It’s called inverted classrooms. The concept reverses the way student are taught in the classroom and how they do their homework. Under this new program, students would be charged to watch a lesson on video of some sort – be it online, a YouTube video, a DVD or something else along those lines – while they are at home. Then, when they come to school, they’d already have heard the lesson, so teachers could spend more one-on-one time with students, giving individual help to those who were struggling with the concepts or finding more challenging problems for students who have mastered the concept.
“Teachers are able to customize education with the absolute ease of recording lessons and sharing them,” Haugen said. “This feels like it will be a powerful, powerful model for education. This is just one of the changes that will happen. What kids bring home will look different.
The upcoming Dialogue and Desserts sessions will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14 in the cafeteria of Boeckman Middle School; 7 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 15 in the Farmington High School commons; 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20 in the Meadowview Elementary School cafetorium.
Haugen plans to continue with his roundtable discussions several times a year to bring parents up to speed on what the big changes are in Farmington schools.
And yes, he really does plan to bring some homemade pie.