DHS students, teachers head to China

by MATT SCHOEN, SUPERINTENDENT

DELANO PUBLIC SCHOOLS

I would like to highlight Delano High School and to review some of the activities that are going on at DHS. One program in particular that I would like to share with you is the exchange program DHS has with Purple Cloud High School in Tangu, China.

Since 1992 we have sent over 50 educators and over 80 students to Purple Cloud High School for the purpose of professional and cultural exchange. This exchange program started out on a very small scale and has grown to its current capacity thanks to former educators in our schools like Charlie Johnson and Leo Pospichal. This tradition of exchanging ideas, culture, and educational philosophies has created a strong working relationship with our sister school in China.

In March we again will send 17 students and educators to Purple Cloud High School. Tangu, China is a city of more than 10 million people, which is one of the largest differences between Delano and Tangu. This opportunity of exchange is made possible by the efforts of Lanette Faul, math teacher at DHS, who leads the China Club and is responsible for the preparation and planning of this annual trip. In the fall, we in turn host our Chinese guests for a week-long stay in Delano.

On a different but equally important note, Jim VanCura, has been selected as one of the 39 finalists for Minnesota Teacher of the Year. VanCura will proceed to the next phase that includes interviews and other activities in May. We wish him well throughout the entire process and congratulations on this achievement.

At DHS, we constantly thrive to include 21st century technologies into the learning environment. One example is that we have two math teachers who are “flipping” their classrooms. In a traditional class, a teacher presents information and exposes students to new concepts and skills culminating in a lesson where students demonstrate their mastery of the skills and concepts that were learned.

In a “flipped” classroom, the teacher assigns an online lecture/presentation for the students to view as homework. Then during the class period, the teacher facilitates a discussion, sometimes in large groups, sometimes small, regarding assigned problems. So in other words, the homework assignment is viewing the presentation, and the classroom activities are students’ working on particular problems. Studies have shown this infusion of online 21st century technology has enabled students to understand and master concepts and skills at a more effective rate.

Delano High School is always filled with activities both in and outside the classroom. Feel free to visit the website at delano.k12.mn.us to learn more about what DHS has to offer and the many opportunities available to our students.

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