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Changing the face of district education
Monroe Middle School students show off their technology knowledge at a Business After 5 event, hosted by Monroe Chamber of Commerce. Pictured, from left, is sixth-grade student Wade Sweeney talking with Pam Christopher, executive director of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, along with classmates Gage Noble and Leah Peterson. (Photo supplied)
MONROE - Recently, the Colony Brands Foundation became a fundamental supporter of the technology initiative in the Monroe School District by committing $100,000 a year for the next four years.

The Colony Brands Foundation was seeking a partnership through education that would enhance the attractiveness of the community and encourage talented individuals to move to the area.

The Monroe School District is implementing an initiative to change the face of education in the district. The initiative was designed to meet the new 21-century common core standards for their students.

"The school district had been discussing opportunities with the Colony Brands Foundation for a long time, brainstorming together, and trying to determine how to best support each other," Cory Hirsbrunner, district administrator, said in a release.

The first phase of the initiative was the implementation of iPads for every sixth grade student and teacher at Monroe Middle School. The 1:1 initiative creates an environment where students are provided a more personalized learning experience where students are all provided equal access to technology.

"We are in full support of the 1:1 learning environment and are glad we can partner with the school district to make this initiative a reality," said Ryan Kubly, president of Colony Brands Foundation.

Going forward, the second phase of the initiative will be focused on continual structured training for staff to develop and transform their teaching practice to meet the demands of this new learning environment.

"It will be a lot of professional development for the staff. It's a whole new way of teaching. The teachers all have very different levels of proficiency when it comes to technology, just like the students in a classroom," Hirsbrunner said. "We will have leadership teams attending trainings and they will help provide professional development for other staff."