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Teaching the teachers

DEPUE – The DePue School District is taking steps to help teachers better adjust to the various amounts of technology it has collected within the last couple years.

DePue Principal David Higgs informed the school board a representative from Quintech would be completing an inventory on the school’s technology for the state-required technology plan. He said the school has been working with teachers to inform and teach them about the different types of technology in the district. The ultimate goal it to try and close any learning gaps about the technology. 

“We have had a technology explosion in the last year and a half, and the idea that we want all the cogs in the wheel working together and not just have technology scattered everywhere and not have anybody know where it’s at, what it’s doing and how they are using it,” he explained.

The district’s technology committee is scheduled to meet again today, Tuesday.

Higgs also told the board the school recently hosted meetings with local first responders and staff members to review the district’s crisis management plan for the 2013-14 school year. The staff and first responders reviewed what to do during various incidents, including bomb threats, school intruders and school lock-downs.

Higgs said the school will continuously work to improve the plans throughout the year.

Higgs also presented the board with the number of unexcused absences between August and February of this year and compared them to the last school year.

“We decreased unexcused absences from 112 to 70,” he said. “The number of students contributing to the unexcused absences has decreased.”

Higgs contributed the decrease to a number of district changes, including handbook changes the school board made within the last year and the change in culture at the school.

“We have a much more positive climate and interaction and focus on classroom environment and engaged teaching also has a lot to do with it,” he said. “Kids want to be here.”

Higgs also said a school lock-in is in the planning stages at the school for March 15.

Wavier forms and permission slips still need to be created for students to take home to parents. Higgs said there are a number of teachers who have committed to chaperone the event. 

“It’s amazing, on the weekends, how much our kids want things to do,” he said. “From intermurals, to dances, to lock-ins, basketball games. They’re craving for things to do here.”

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