High-tech program leaves parents with questions

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

It’s not your grandmother’s school house anymore. Some students at Point Isabel ISD (PIISD) are taking part in an education revolution, turning traditional education philosophies on their heads and looking at learning from a student-led point of view.

It’s the Summit Learning Program and its changes have left some parents asking questions about how it works, how their children are progressing, and even how grades are assessed. As those questions and concerns recently grew to a head online, the school district responded by hosting an informational session at Port Isabel Junior High last Wednesday.

Parents had an opportunity to hear an overview of the program, ask school district administrators questions directly, and go through a guided tutorial of how to monitor their child’s learning progress via an online portal.

It’s all part of PIISD’s “blended learning initiative,” which aims to create more self-sufficient students who are both critical thinkers and technologically savvy in today’s increasingly technologically dependent world.

The district began its shift towards blended learning three years ago, explained Superintendent Dr. Lisa Garcia this Wednesday. The shift came after student feedback indicated that students were not being as well-served in their classes as they could be. “Students indicated that their classes generally weren’t very engaging, that some of their classes weren’t rigorous enough, the level of work wasn’t rigorous.

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