Education: Belpre residents must get involved

Belpre residents should take advantage of Belpre City Schools Superintendent Jeff Greenley’s calls for community involvement as he and board of education members move to change the way the district educates and prepares students.

Last month, Greenley and Treasurer Lance Erlwein presented information from a report by Battelle for Kids, an educational think-tank based in Columbus, after which stakeholders were asked to consider changing workforce needs, societal changes, technology and empathy/interaction with people.

This week, those in attendance at the school board meeting — and that number did not appear to include anyone outside the ranks of educators, administrators and board members, by the end of the meeting — were asked to participate in a book study session. Battelle for Kids President and CEO Karen Garza had touted Ted Dintersmith’s “What School Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers Across America” as “making a case for why the transformation of school systems is so necessary,” in the company’s recommended reading list over the summer.

Greenley handed out materials from Battelle demonstrating the benefits of changing our thinking about how students learn and the best ways to teach; and later showed some videos reinforcing the message.

“It’s a really different way of designing content,” he said.

Corporate buzz words aside, the administration and board are to be commended for seeking ways to improve the education provided to our children through a community-wide effort. They must be careful not to present opportunities for community involvement in a way that makes those from outside the world of education feel as though they will be wasting their time or so bored and/or overwhelmed that they leave before they can make their voices heard.

And community members: Get to these meetings, if a good education for our kids is important to you. Weigh in with your real-world insight and ideas. Ask questions.

Students need an education model developed with input from ALL of us.