School Superintendent visits Prairie
Mr. Tom Luna and his wife Cindy stopped at Prairie Jr/Sr High School on Monday November 4. He started his tour in Mr. Maderís room visiting students in the History class. Heidi Holubetz asked Mr. Luna about his thoughts on teacher pay. Mr. Luna proceeded to explain that he felt teachers should be paid on a different schedule depending on experience but also on how involved they are in their profession. He explained that we have good teachers in Idaho but we want to work on having great teachers in the profession. He asked Kelley Heitman what she wanted to do after high school and she answered by saying attend CWI in Culinary Arts. They carried on a conversation about the Food Channel and had a laugh or two.
He visited with Mr. Hasselstrom and asked about the use of the Idaho Education Network and distance learning opportunities for our students. The one-to-one device ratio was talked about and Mr. Hasselstrom shared that our students have access in every classroom if they want it. Our students also bring in their own devices and conversation was given to our bandwidth and our future upgrade to fiber. Mr. Luna asked when that was happening and Mr. Hasselstrom shared what he knew and that was sometime after Christmas break. Mr. Luna mentioned that Cottonwood has a reputation around the state for their integration of technology and access for students.
Mrs. Wimer and her students shared their sewing projects with Mr. Luna. Mrs. Ellis was presenting an Algebra unit utilizing her smartboard and projector and Mr. Luna stepped in and introduced himself to her and to the class.
As we proceeded down to the lower floor, explanation was given to our recent remodeling of the lower floor to accommodate junior high students and to give opportunities for those to have access to high school courses. Mr. Luna was given a presentation by Mr. Martinís Technology Class. Spencer Schumacher shared his Animoto video on cells with the class as Mr. Luna observed. A couple of the students were asked how they feel about using the technology to enhance their learning and if it did make a difference for them. Joe Jones responded by saying that he learns in class from the teacher but also uses Khan Academy videos to help reinforce the concept. He likes the idea of having the videos so he can go back and listen to the explanation over and over until he gets it. Mrs. Eckertís students shared a drug free video they created for Red Ribbon week. Mr. Luna pleaded with students to follow the message they were sharing in the video. He said the message about staying drug free and not drinking and driving is all too often stated and then not followed. He urged students to stay safe and live a happy healthy life.
The final stop was in the counselorís office to visit with Mrs. Hinkelman, Mrs. Quintal and Mrs. Sigler about dual credits. Mr. Luna was impressed with the number of courses that are offered in our high school for college credit and how such a small school could make this happen. Mrs. Sigler shared with him how her two children benefitted from having dual credits and how they transferred to out of state colleges as well. Mrs. Quintal shared that 87% of the senior class is signed up to attend college, 69% at a four year institution and 19% in a two year program at a junior college.
As Mr. Luna moved from classroom to classroom, he left the students with his thoughts on taking hard courses in high school. He stated that it isnít about having straight Aís, itís about getting the material in high school and participating in the upper level courses and pushing yourself so that when you do go to college you are successful. He urged all students to take all of the upper level courses the school offers.