Back to School in DeKalb

Guest Blogger: Sherry Grate, Ed.D, Superintendent, DeKalb Central Schools

There’s always an exciting buzz in the air as DeKalb Central students head back to school. That will certainly be the case tomorrow as 4,000-plus students enter the doors of one of our six schools in the district. And as superintendent, I believe there’s a lot to be excited about in the coming year.

First of all, we ended the last school year with improved ISTEP scores—in fact, our scores in math, reading and language arts were all above the state average. What a great starting point for this year!

We also have a lot of efforts underway to incorporate technology in a purposeful way to meet children’s needs and provide an integrated approach to instruction and learning. We’re exposing students K-12 to different kinds of technology and showing them how it can be an effective learning tool.

This year we will also have a concentrated effort in planning for the district’s newest addition to DHS: our New Tech High School, set to open in the fall of 2012. The school will focus on STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math—a testament, I believe, to the criticalness of these skills to today’s businesses. They are absolutely necessary if the U.S.—and Indiana, specifically—are to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

That global mindset is one of the reasons we’ve established a sister school relationship with three schools in China. A small group of our administrators and teachers traveled to China last year to meet with school teachers and leaders in the Zhejiang Province. It was the beginning of efforts to help students develop a vision not only for the future of our community and region, but also for the world beyond here that many have yet to experience. We’re excited to have a delegation from the Longyou Bureau of Education and Qiaoxia Primary School visit this fall. We welcome the opportunity to share our community and introduce them to some of our key government and business partners, including those in Auburn.

The City of Auburn has been a partner with DeKalb Central Schools for a long time—probably because we share a vision for progressiveness… and moving forward and continuously looking for opportunities to improve what and how we do things.

I’m looking forward to seeing all that another school year will bring!