FORT GIBSON – Staff and faculty at Fort Gibson Public Schools strive to strengthen the bonds between students, technology and those involved in the process and literacy.
There are three specific areas that teachers and staff aim to strengthen over the coming year for students and parents. These areas are part of the school’s strategic plan.
Literacy, advocacy and the full use of digital tools are the three areas they will focus on, said Superintendent Derald Glover.
âOur reading levels are pretty high,â Glover said. “But literacy is more than that for us.”
In fact, literacy involves reading, writing, speaking and reasoning, Glover said. Fort Gibson school teachers and coaches are actively encouraged to challenge their students in all of these areas.
âTalking is something a lot of people ignore,â Glover said. “Our belief is that if a child has the opportunity to speak from Kindergarten to Grade 12, that child will be more comfortable speaking in front of an audience later in life.”
Glover said writing is often overlooked; it is vital for learning to read and vice versa.
“To reason is to interpret,” said Glover.
Teachers and coaches use reason to teach children to understand what they have read or what they can see.
A teacher can hand out a table or graph with just pieces of the accompanying article. Students will be asked to analyze it to determine what the data means. Glover gave this as an example.
The next part of the strategic plan is advocacy. Teachers at Fort Gibson schools try to develop relationships between themselves, parents and students.
âAdvocacy is the relational element of learning,â said Glover. âWe want students to take power over their learning. “
Teachers do this by having students lead parent-teacher conferences. Teachers take the opportunity to measure students’ communication and speaking skills.
âIt requires the student to know where they fit in the classroom and communicate that to the parent,â Glover said.
Faculty and staff are trying to strengthen the relationship between the school, students and parents through email, social media, a planned redesign of the school website and mentoring programs.
Glover stressed the need to hold students accountable for their education. Part of this is the school’s BYOD program.
The BYOD program is the âBring Your Own Deviceâ program. It is part of the school’s one-to-one initiative. This allows the student to bring their tablet or computer, whatever device they feel most comfortable learning on, Glover said.
The third part of the strategic plan for the coming year is the use of digital tools.
âThey have them, that’s the reality,â Glover said. âIt’s our job to teach them how to use them efficiently and responsibly. “
Glover said the school is not looking at a 100% conversion.
âThere are still times when writing or lecturing is important,â he said. âBy working as a team, students must learn to communicate, to collaborate.
Glover pointed out that these digital devices are just tools; tools to improve and not replace.
Contact Harrison Grimwood at (918) 684-2926 or [email protected]