Getting to the Good Stuff

In January, I wrote about hopes for 2013. I talked briefly about changes that were on the horizon at Alburnett, and added that my hopes were not just about those changes but also about how we would engage with each other in the process.

Well, changes are happening as we speak. With an eye on the future, the administrative team and staff, with support and approval from our School Board, are embarking on a more technology rich learning environment. Monday marked the roll-out of a pilot one-to-one project, and the recently purchased iPads are beginning to be used in the elementary.

In addition, we are officially moving forward with a redesign of grade configurations. The 6th-8th grade middle school structure was officially approved Monday night, and the work of fine-tuning the details of this change has begun.

But now my real purpose todayI would like to formally invite each and every one of you to join the conversation about redesigning the future of education at Alburnett. And I mean everyone – grandparents, parents, students, school staff, and anyone else with a vested interest in our future. I would like to encourage you to find or purchase a copy of the book Schools Cannot Do It Alone by Jamie Vollmer. I would love the opportunity to work with groups to embark on what Vollmer calls “The Great Conversation.” Not only is this a great book that is fairly easy to breeze through, it is also a wonderful format to use in gathering together in conversations that can make a difference for our future.

So, what do we do?

1 – First, I need to know “who’s in.” Please send me an email or give me a call if you are planning to pick up a copy of this book.

2 – Second, I will look for an evening date in the coming months when we can visit about our reading. This will be later in the spring to give you time to read and think about these ideas.

3 – Third, for those that are intrigued about where this process could take us, we will follow up with an additional evening to plan steps around “The Great Conversation.”

Yes, there is a commitment involved, but the level of involvement is up to you. At a minimum, please consider Vollmer’s book. I believe you’ll enjoy reading his tales of how we cannot defend the status quo and why schools must change. Vollmer, an Iowan himself, has not always been an advocate for schools and in fact spent quite a lot of energy being critical of schools. I believe the book alone is worth your consideration.

I look forward to hearing from you! The more the better. Please let me know if you will join me: or 319-438-2201. Don’t wait to see who else is joining – just take the first step and contact me.


About Dani Trimble

Superintendent of Schools Alburnett School District
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