SUNBURY — In recent years, Big Walnut Local Schools has talked about its “2020 Vision” for the district. Now that it is the 2020-2021 school year, what does that mean for the students?
“Our plan during the 2020-21 school year is to transition our 2020 Vision for instruction to our Big Walnut Academic Vision,” said Superintendent Angie Hamberg in her welcome back message to the community on the district’s website. “We know this will be an unusual year, but we are working hard to provide great experiences for our students.”
Hamberg said two-thirds of kindergarten students may end up working in jobs “that have yet to be created. Clearly, just teaching these students to memorize facts will not prepare them for life after school, which is why shifting our classrooms to meet our Big Walnut Academic Vision is so important.”
There is a three-fold focus, Hamberg said. They are as follows:
• Personalizing Instruction: Teacher is constantly aware of individual student abilities, interests, and/or learning styles and uses that information to make instructional decisions.
• Engaging Students: Students are immersed in the classroom atmosphere — lessons/activities are meaningful, relevant, and add immediate value to their learning.
• Growing Minds: Teacher collects student data and uses it to drive instruction and make class decisions in order to promote student growth.”
Hamberg pointed out that despite student enrollment growth and budget cuts due to COVID-19, voters passed two recent levies, and “we are extremely grateful to our community for the support we receive every day.” The entrances of five older buildings were improved, and “our new elementary, Prairie Run Elementary, opens this year, while our new high school is scheduled to open in January of 2022.”
Also in the district:
• Big Walnut’s COVID-19 Dashboard on Monday showed there were three active, confirmed in-person staff and student cases; and one active, confirmed student with the virtual learning program.
• At the Oct. 15 Big Walnut Board of Education meeting, students Anthony Rodriquez (General Rosecrans Elementary) and August Wilson (Big Walnut Intermediate School) were named Students of the Month.
• On Friday, seniors at Big Walnut High School will be decked in the school colors of red and gold shirts/sweatshirts for a class photograph on the football field.
• Also at the high school, the Drama Department is working on a pre-filmed comedy sketch show and putting together a production team this week.
• The Delaware General Health District is offering a drive-thru flu clinic today and Thursday in Sunbury for Big Walnut families who have already registered. “No drive-up appointments will be accepted,” the school district said.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.