Tuesday, December 3, 2013

2011 flashback- Besendorfer: There can be opportunity in a funnel cloud

(From Oct. 5, 2013) As we approach the opening of new Joplin schools, I thought this would be an opportune time to relive the efforts R-8 officials made to make sure that the new buildings would be the height of 21st Century learning. This is a reprint of a Turner Report post from November 5, 2011, including video and information from WFAA in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Joplin school officials toured a modern high school in Grand Prairie, Texas, looking for ideas for the new high school, continuing a series of visits they have been making to schools in Missouri, Texas, and Nebraska:

And the Joplin educators came prepared with questions, like, "What would you do better next time?"

"We get to dream about the future of education," Besendorfer said. "So we're here to gather ideas of best practices, so we can continue to build on that and create the next best."

They also learned from students.

"They spent a great deal of time with the student panel," said Vicki Villarreall of Grand Prairie ISD. "We had 11 students come talk to them [one from] each pathway, and they seemed to glean a lot from our kids."

Already this group has toured schools in Austin, Houston, Nebraska and Kansas City, looking for the best.

"It is something that has been an incredible journey," Besendorfer said. "We lost kids, we lost staff members, we lost community members and friends. That is a horrific thing. We're now to the point to where we're re-building, and our community is committing re-building better. There can be opportunity in a funnel cloud."

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