Dublin City Schools committed to providing students innovative experiences
Dublin City Schools values creative teachers and a new program has been launched to encourage innovative programs for students.
A committee of administrators started meeting at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year to develop parameters for what they were looking for in teacher proposals, including creating a rubric to help them grade each proposal, with an emphasis on innovation.
“For the committee, we used a definition of innovation that is two-pronged — is it a new way of doing something, and is it a better way of doing something?” said Deputy Superintendent Tracey Miller said. “There are some really neat ideas and I’m very excited to see these projects come to fruition.”
The application process began in February and more than 20 teacher-led proposals were submitted. Any staff member or team of staff members in the District was able to submit their grant proposals with a summary sheet, budget, and three-minute video.
The results include some exciting projects and fantastic experiences for our students.
Some examples are listed below.
All middle schools will be able to purchase equipment for virtual and augmented reality, so students can take trips to the top of a mountain range or ride a roller coaster, while sitting in the classroom, thanks to the new program. Also at the middle school level, grants were approved to expand offerings in the Makerspace, as well as for an augmented reality sandbox, so science classes can study topography in real-time using sand to study things like elevation, water and volcanoes.
Dublin Scioto’s theater lobby will be transformed into an immersive, historical experience to coincide with a school production, allowing visitors to take a step back in time. Makerspace equipment will be added to the school, as well as workable furniture to promote collaboration. A new initiative focusing on 2-D and 3-D has been granted and will be a collaboration between art and engineering students using the dark room, computer lab and workshop. There is also a grant to help create a technology learning team for the school to better inform teachers on how to use technology in their classrooms, and to renovate the technology office.
Grants were also approved for District high school students to begin to use biofeedback, by way of a heart rate sensor that picks up bodily functions. The program will allow students to learn how to regulate their heart rate, creating positive changes in mood.
High school teachers will join the #ObserveMe movement, where the staff will be able to work closer together to get stronger as a whole. Teachers will have door signage to show their colleagues their strengths and times they can be observed, so the they can learn from each other. Also starting at the older level, with the goal to expand to all secondary buildings, is the “Move your body, move your mind” campaign, where polar heart rate monitors will be used to promote physical activity in the schools.
Several elementary schools across the District will get a bonus this upcoming year, such as an outdoor experiential learning lab and sensory garden or a media center upgrade. Social emotional learning, as well as robotics in art class, will be on the rise for elementary students. The District will also see the development of a Professional Learning Committee, thanks to the innovation grant.
The approved funding will be put in each respective schools’ budget, with each innovation project rolling out next school year. The projects will be tracked and monitored along the way.
“The Dublin Innovates Grant Program has been met with overwhelming positivity. People are excited,” Miller said. “The committee is already talking about how to improve the process next year. I definitely see this continuing for years to come.”