By Ryan Hodges
Meridian Times staff writer
HASLETT– A software program could change the way teachers and administrators are able to view progress in the classroom.
Created 10 years ago by educators in California, Illuminate Education is a data management system that is used by educational institutions. With 50 percent of all teacher evaluations in the district now based upon how a student is progressing, administrators are expecting that these programs will provide some of this information. The Haslett School Board discussed the software on Feb. 24.
Bart Wegenke, principal of Haslett High School, said Illuminate Education is going to help schools to make better decisions.
“Specifically, it is a place to hub our data,” Wegenke said. “(We can) make informed decisions about growth for all of our students as we look at our curriculum (and) teaching practices.”
Haslett High School mathematics teacher Kevin Tobe said he uses the software in the classroom to help make sure that his students are progressing.
“I use this software for everything,” Tobe said. “I use it for things in my classroom, I’ve used it for track, I’ve used it for basketball, … and it tells you whether the student made sufficient growth.”
While there are still some glitches, Wegenke said Illuminate Education will help teachers, students and administrators.
“It’s a learning process for all of us,” Wegenke said. “But in the end, it will benefit our students and … our teachers as well.”
Also on the agenda for the meeting were some events and fundraisers for school programs in the coming weeks.
The Foundation for Haslett Schools, which raises money for school programs, events, projects and activities that are not able to be covered by the regular budget, is holding a fundraiser called “Got Taste, Got Talent.”
Michael Duda, superintendent of Haslett Public Schools, said they are encouraging people in the area to send in video auditions and to provide support for the event.
“Our Foundation will be hosting its only fundraiser this year and that is the “Got Taste, Got Talent” event that takes place on April 26,” Duda said. “At this point in time they are looking for talent in this community to sign up.”
In addition, on March 2, three Haslett robotics clubs will be competing in the VEX Robotics State Championship on the Michigan State University campus.
Haslett School Board President Don Frank said that this is an exciting achievement for robotics clubs throughout the district.
“We’re hoping to get at least one team (to) qualify to go on to world competitions,” Frank said. “I thought that was good news.”