Last month, Affton School District sent a team of school district leaders to participate in the sixth of 12 Future Ready Regional Summits, designed to help district leaders improve teaching and learning through the effective use of technology. President Obama announced the regional summits at the ConnectED to the Future Convening, hosted at the White House Nov. 19, 2014. Held April 28-29, the summit was hosted by the U.S. Department of Education and the Alliance for Excellent Education with Affton School District at the IL Monastero Banquet Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
“At Affton School District, our vision centers around ensuring our students grow as highly capable, curious, and confident learners through customized instruction and fueled by technology integration,” said Dr. Steve Brotherton, superintendent. “We are proud to have been the first district nationwide to be Common Sense Certified in Digital Citizenship this school year, and we recently announced the expansion of our 1:1 Chromebook program from Affton High School to Rogers Middle School in 2015-2016. It is an exciting time to be at Affton, and we look forward to continuing to grow our capacity to be future ready.”
Dr. Brotherton and his district leadership team are furthering Affton’s commitment to becoming future ready by engaging in a series of workshops that offer expert support to create or build upon an existing digital learning plan that aligns with instructional best practices, is implemented by highly trained teachers, and leads to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities.
“Superintendents provide critical leadership to ensure that every child in their district benefits from what we know matters and what we know works for kids,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “The Future Ready Regional Summits will be a forum where local leaders can share knowledge with their peers, engage leaders from outside their region and better equip themselves with skills and tools necessary to provide students with what they need to be successful in life.”
The summits are an important step toward realizing the goals of the ConnectED Initiative announced by President Obama in 2013 to connect 99 percent of students to high-speed Internet and empower teachers with the technology they need to transform teaching and learning. The regional summits are expected to engage more than 1,800 district leaders nationwide. The other Regional Summits will be in Raleigh, North Carolina; Baltimore, Maryland; Vancouver, Washington; Phoenix, Arizona; West Warwick, Rhode Island; Atlanta, Georgia; Redwood City, California; Denver, Colorado; Wadsworth, Illinois; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Dallas, Texas.
“Future ready is about helping district leaders leverage technology to empower teachers, engage students, and close persistent equity gaps by creating a learning environment where all students have access to the tools and expertise they need to be prepared for the future,” said Richard Culatta, director of the Education Department’s Office of Educational Technology (OET).
The summits are open to district leadership teams that have made a commitment to developing the human and technological capacity needed to transform teaching and personalize learning using digital tools, by signing the Future Ready District Pledge. Already, more than 1,500 district superintendents nationwide have taken the pledge.
For more information about the OET, including resources for students, parents and educators, visit http://tech.ed.gov. #FutureReady