The word “modernization” has been used frequently in the last couple of months as school district folks educate our community on Measure A.
As the principal at Royal Oaks Elementary School, I am excited to let Visalians know what modernization has meant to our teachers and students.
Thanks to Measure E, we have an upgraded fire alarm system in the modernized buildings, and the entire campus is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Modernization included changing out drinking fountains, adding handicapped parking spaces, widening doors and entry ways and removing shelving that could be an obstruction for students.
Our classrooms are now focused on technology because that is where the world is and the world of technology is constantly changing. We now have multiple TV screens so that all students can see the lesson and the teacher can be more mobile within the classroom. The teacher can put different information on each screen, in accordance with the work each group of students is doing. Collaboration has become a key aspect of education and these screens are part of that. New lighting helps our students better see these screens.
Much has been said about keeping our schools “equal” and that is important. We want older schools to look as much like newer schools as possible. Parents feel validated with this level of investment at their child’s school, and we are very thankful for the upgrades at Royal Oaks.
I know that what is taught is the most important, but the buildings matter, too. There is a different feel here now – a real sense of “wow” amongst the kids when they saw their modernized classroom. We are a community of learners and we’re all about how to help students prepare for the future and then return to Visalia when they’ve completed their education. We want to bring them back to Visalia to build our community.
The modernization process was a bit messy but it was all worth it. We are truly one team, one mission at Visalia Unified and the mission is to deliver limitless opportunities for our kids. With the support of our community, Measure A will further this mission for additional schools.