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Lakota Hosts Educators from Across the Country

Lakota Hosts Educators from Across the Country

“Your kids are happy. They love learning.”

“Every student said they felt seen and felt heard.”

“Students are very engaged in the process of learning - not just what they’re learning.”

These statements aren’t just something WE strive for, but feedback received after nearly 100 superintendents and educational leaders from across the country toured six Lakota schools as part of the League of Innovative Schools Spring Convening on March 10.

One of the guests learning from a student at Lakota

Members of the League, which is part of the non-profit organization Digital Promise, represent 125 school districts in 34 states and serve more than 3.8 million students. The League of Innovative Schools connects forward-thinking school district leaders with the purpose of working together to advance education. “Being a long-time member of the League of Innovative Schools, I know that one of the biggest benefits is learning from forward-thinking leaders who are deeply committed to creating truly equitable school systems,” explained Susan Enfield, superintendent of Highline Public Schools in Washington state. 

Boy showing man how to use virtual reality goggles

League convenings occur each spring and fall. This year, Lakota, a League member since 2017, co-hosted the spring meeting with Middletown City Schools. “We are excited to have been selected to help plan this spring’s convening,” said Matt Miller, Lakota’s superintendent. “I am proud of the work our teachers and administrators are doing for our students and am pleased we were able to showcase our programs and schools.”

In addition to conference sessions over the three-day convening, members were able tour Middletown and Lakota schools. Those visiting Lakota chose between Wyandot Early Childhood, Independence Elementary and Lakota East High schools or Union Elementary, Ridge Junior and Lakota West High schools. Yellow Springs, Princeton and Winton Woods school districts, all of whom are also members of the League, were invited to showcase one of their programs during these tours as well.

Student ambassadors at each school interacted with the members, acting as tour guides and sharing with them about the individual programs, including:

Additionally, course spotlights at the high school level included:

  • American Sign Language;
  • MESH workshop;
  • College Credit Plus Anatomy and Physiology;
  • Mathematical Modeling and Reasoning; and 
  • Metals.
The two chiefs of Spark show a man and women what they do

“Visiting schools and interacting with students is always the highlight of a League convening,” said Miller. “It’s an opportunity for superintendents to gather ideas to bring back to our home districts.”

Erik Gundersen, superintendent of the Suffern Central School District in New York echoed this sentiment. “The League of Innovative School Convenings tends to be the most valuable professional growth opportunity I experience throughout the school year,” he said. “The most important aspect of the meeting is the power of visiting the school and the communities they serve. Some of the biggest take-aways that I am bringing back to my district in New York include the Cyber Academy, therapy dogs, INCubatoredu and focus on promoting student voice throughout the school community.”

This also marked the first time in two years that Lakota schools were able to open their doors to visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees followed strict safety procedures from the League to help ensure a safe environment. “This is another step back to normal for us,” said Miller. “It was great to see our students and staff interacting with visitors again and demonstrating what ‘WE are Lakota’ is all about.”

Gundersen agrees. “I was a visitor to Lakota last week, but I truly feel I got to experience what it is like to be a member of the WE are Lakota community.” 

Visit Lakota’s Facebook page to view a photo album from the event.