Time to re-evaluate district’s technology use | Nancy Coogan

  • Wednesday, January 18, 2017 11:00am
  • Opinion

Nancy Coogan

Happy 2017! Can you believe it’s the new year already? Like many of you, I spent the holidays with family, taking time to reflect on the joys and challenges of the past year. There were many highlights, passing our levies and bond measure, graduating a record percentage of seniors, stuffing a bus full of non-perishable food to support our students in need, hosting an acclaimed group of executives from companies including Microsoft, Starbucks and Boeing and college representatives to brainstorm partnership opportunities, meeting Russell Wilson as he inspired our middle-schoolers to dream big, kicking off important race and equity work, reading to preschoolers, checking in with various graduates as they acclimated at universities across the nation…the list goes on and on.

I am blessed. We are blessed. This is a beautiful community.

The new year also offers opportunities for renewal. In the Tukwila School District, I am calling for a strategic refresh. It has been three years since we collectively developed our district’s strategic plan. I am still proud of that plan and how it reflects our values and priorities while providing a road map to ensure our graduates are prepared for work and life.

Specifically, I want to focus on one particular benchmark of success in the document, “Tech-savvy, teach-literate: Each student will achieve the state-level technology standards and will graduate as a tech-savvy, tech-literate citizen connected to the real world.”

We are a region that leads the world in technology, and just like in that industry, we have to be very cognizant about staying up to date in providing our scholars with the most modern digital resources that will support their success. How many people have the same cell phone from three years ago when our strategic plan was created?

The school board and I believe technology is not just a tool but a foundation for teaching ­­— a way to propel our scholars into the 21st century by providing flexibility, relevance, enrichment, remediation, acceleration and advanced credit opportunities. Technology is both a means and an end, as it creates rich, meaningful learning experiences and prepares our scholars to fully compete in jobs of the future as technology leaders.

Please join me at one of these upcoming strategic refresh meetings as we expand on our technology benchmark goal for students and look for ways to interweave technology expectations into our educational strategies and indicators of process. Meetings will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, Thursday, Jan. 26, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Tukwila School District Administration Building, 4640 S. 144th St.

To familiarize yourself with the strategic plan beforehand, please pick up a copy at the Administration Building or visit the district’s website, tukwilaschools.org, and search for “strategic plan.”

The strategic plan is not my document, it’s our document. I want to make sure it continues to reflect your biggest hopes and dreams for our scholars.

Tukwila School Superintendent Nancy Coogan can be reached at 206-901-8006 or at ncoogan@tukwila.wednet.edu.

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