Under our “Agenda For Action”, we have listed the five areas of focus within our strategic plan. Although our revitalization work has been front and center, education has always been top of mind as we continue to build the framework for our initiative – “Ottumwa’s 6 Year Plan To A Promising Future.”
The first exciting partnership took center stage on May 13th when a grant to Ottumwa Community Schools for over 1.3 million dollars was unveiled to the public. The work started 18 months ago when initial discussions began with Dr. Davis Eidahl, Superintendent of Ottumwa Community Schools. These conversations took on yet another layer when Dr. Jon Sheldahl, Chief Administrator and Dr. Sally Lindgren, Coordinator of Technology Services from Great Prairie Area Education Association added their expertise and resources to the project. The end result, “Leading and Learning for the 21st Century” was well worth the wait. What were the elements that made this project so attractive?
- It is exciting and robust
- It is cutting edge
- It is collaborative
- It is holistic – putting tools and training in the hands of both students and teachers
“With this gift from the Legacy Foundation”, said Dr. Eidahl, “we’re looking at five components in our plan: hardware, software, access, professional development and technical support.” Technology is one of the many tools used by Ottumwa Community Schools to deepen student learning of the Iowa Core Curriculum and to provide engaging and relevant experiences. The goal of this K-12 initiative is to provide quality instruction for each and every student and opportunities that lead to a successful post-secondary career. The team that will lead and oversee the implementation of this project is named TILT (Technology Implementation Leadership Team) and will consist of the district’s four media specialists, media specialists, middle school principal, high school principal, an elementary principal, two instructional leaders, tech experts from the community and maybe the most important members, students themselves.
The grant will be administered over a three year period. “This is just the beginning”, stated Brad Little, ORLF President/CEO, “we want the students in our community to be able to paint the picture of what a promising and successful future looks like, and we will be here to hand them the brushes.”