Superintendent’s View: Learn, share, vote in Duluth schools referendum – Duluth News Tribune

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As you may have already learned, Duluth voters will have an opportunity to make their voices heard at the polls well before the general election in November. On Tuesday, May 14, Duluth Public Schools will hold a referendum asking voters to consider a levy of $5.2 million a year to support technology and digital infrastructure across all of our schools.

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The School Board decided to hold this referendum in May to avoid the distractions of the presidential race and to ensure there would be enough advance notice to incorporate a possible levy into the budget for upcoming school years. But it also means we with the district must work hard now to spread the word about this important decision.

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As superintendent, I want to take this opportunity to call attention to some of the investments this levy could support if approved by voters.

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In our classrooms, technology like SMART Boards, Chromebooks, projectors, and sound systems enhance learning for students at all grade levels by providing instant access to educational resources and new collaborative opportunities. These are some of the most visible examples of technology in student education, and while they are important, they make up only a fraction of what the levy would support if approved by voters in May.

Much of the role technology plays within our schools happens behind the scenes. For example, our schools rely heavily on technology to keep students and staff safe. Our IT staff is constantly looking for ways to improve data encryption and to strengthen screening measures to protect against scammers and hackers. At each of our buildings, security cameras and automated door access systems are used to keep our buildings secure and to monitor for threats.

Just about any educator in our district will tell you how important learning-management software has become to today’s education. Canvas — a program that supports grading, assignment management, and asynchronous learning for students and staff – not only streamlines lesson planning, it gives teachers opportunities to provide feedback and guidance to students outside of the classroom and allows students to stay on top of assignments when they are out sick. Tools like these were hardly available 15 years ago, but now are an integral part of students’ daily experiences.

Finally, we recognize how important up-to-date technology is to preparing students for future careers. Careers in nursing, manufacturing, design, and agriculture utilize specialized equipment and software on a daily basis. Currently, many of our district’s classes in these areas rely on donated or outdated equipment, which can limit the real-world application of the skills students learn. We want companies to be confident that if they are hiring a graduate of Duluth Public Schools, they are hiring someone who already has hands-on experience thanks to their time in our classrooms.

The technology levy would invest $5.2 million per year for 10 years across all of these areas and include funds for ongoing maintenance and staff training to ensure we get the most out of the investments. If approved, the levy would cost the average homeowner in our district approximately $10.87 per month.

Ultimately, it is up to you, the voter, to determine whether our district should invest in these resources for our students and staff. Early voting is now open by absentee ballot or in person at City Hall or at the District Service Center.

John Magas is superintendent of Duluth Public Schools. He wrote this exclusively for the News Tribune. For full information about the May 14 referendum, including where and when to vote, he recommends visiting

FutureForward709.org

.

John Magas

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14 thoughts on “Superintendent’s View: Learn, share, vote in Duluth schools referendum – Duluth News Tribune

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  12. Известный во всем СНГ телеграмм бот Глаз Бога уже почти год не сходит с первых полос множества новостных агентств. Программа Глаз Бога для поиска людей завоевала огромную популярность у многих пользователей глаз бога телеграмм

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