My neighbor went to the meeting at the high school regarding the Winona Area Public School referendum April 11. She had a conversation with the superintendent.
The school board is envisioning sliding glass doors to replace walls which would be used to partition classrooms into smaller areas and furniture with wheels for reconfiguring work spaces. This is to meet the individual needs of students. Rather than the entire class being taught the same way, students will engage in the learning mode that best suits them. The glass affords the teacher the ability to see all the students.
In theory, this sounds like a wonderful idea. In practice, however, I’m not sure it will produce the desired effects unless the district hires educational assistants to work in each partitioned area. There are no plans to hire any educational assistants as part of this referendum. And on any given day, how would anyone know how many educational assistants would be needed?
People are also reading…
Although one could argue that students working without an adult present would learn responsibility, again, I think that may be wishful thinking. There is also the noise issue. Students today have a difficult enough time staying focused. Our students do have the right to modern, attractive schools, but I don’t think that’s the most important thing. It’s probably not going to cause a student to read at grade level.
Bright, shiny new things can never take the place of human interaction and connection. AmeriCorps hires people to be math and reading tutors for the elementary schools. What about creating a volunteer program, possibly for retired persons, to tutor in all the schools? I would certainly volunteer.