Parents, teachers, and students spent Saturday brainstorming ways to modernize old-school education techniques.
Ena Ibrisimaic is only a tenth-grader, but she's at school on a Saturday to help shape her and her fellow students' educational experience. The goal is better results after they graduate." I would like to have schools have students go out into the real world and experience what it is like to do a certain subject that they are interested in," Ibrisimaic said.
These brainstorms have backing. The Winooski and Burlington School districts received a nearly four million dollars in grant money from the Nellie Mae Education Fund.
Mayor Miro Weinberger said Saturday, "What's going to happen? I think you're gonna see both high schools change in a meaningful way and our students to get a better education as a result and to succeed in their further education and their careers as a result."
A group called the Partnership for Change oversees the cash and will finance the best ideas for modernizing the area's educational system.
Partnership for Change Director Hal Colston said, "We hear from all the different voices in our community and weigh in on how we can as a community work with the school districts to bring about school transformation."
The schools have already implemented change to better suit every kind of learner and Saturday's meeting is about making further improvement on those changes."There's no one way to do this so we're experimenting with trying to create more community involvement," said Burlington High School Principal Amy Mellencamp.
Though change will have to wait while administrators sift through ideas, students say they're thrilled to have theirs ahead. "Today was a very inspiring day. It was a day I got to share what my personal interests are and what my goals are and having others come up with amazing ideas for me to pursue my goals," Ibrisimaic said.
Goals Ibrisimaic says she's confident she'll achieve thanks to this effort.