ALGONA - With ever-changing technology and new ways of learning, the Algona Community School District is working to be sure it can offer the latest devices and programs available to its students and staff to keep up with those trends.
"We have more than 650 different network devices available to our students," said Jackie Fonley, technology coordinator for the Algona Community School District. "We have iPods, iPads, laptops, desktop computers. All of our kindergarten through eighth-grade classrooms have SMART Boards and the high school and middle school have document cams."
The middle and high school complex is also a wireless campus with plenty of technology in the classroom, Fonley said.
-Messenger photo by Emilie Nelson-Jenson
Mathematics instructor Chad Ahlers uses a “Smart Board” to teach a trigonometry lesson at Algona High School recently. Several classrooms throughout the Algona Community School District are equipped with Smart Boards and document cams which implement technology into the everyday usage of the whiteboard.
"All of our classrooms are a digital teaching and learning environment," she said. "We offer weekly mini sessions for the staff on technology integration and opportunities."
The community has also played a key role in the district's success and ability to provide opportunities to students.
"We have the Algona Community School Foundation," said Fonley. "They've given more than $3.5 million in scholarships to Algona graduates and an additional $620,000 in educational materials to our schools."
In its first year, the School Business Partners program for preschool and elementary students provides partnerships between Algona and Kossuth County businesses which focuses on six career pathways: nature, helping, health, creative, building and technology and business.
"The businesses get to come visit the classes and the kids also get to visit the businesses," Fonley said. "As the program grows the kids will get the chance to rotate in each area of business. It's good for the businesses and good for our kids; it shows them that there really are great jobs available here."
Junior and senior high school students in the Algona Community Schools also get involved in the community. More than 5,700 hours of community service have been logged by students participating in the Silver Cord Program, in which students log their individual hours and are recognized at graduation with a silver cord for completing the required amount of service hours.
The Algona Community Schools continue to work closely with the Bishop Garrigan Catholic Schools and neighboring school districts in programs such as Career and Technical Education, in which students can participate in career academies in the areas of construction technology, automotive technology, health occupations and television broadcasting/productions.
"We have our own student TV station," said Fonley. "They create a weekly newscast for the community to keep them informed on what's happening in the schools, and the students take turns filming athletic events, and attending school board, City Council and Board of Supervisors meetings."
The schools have also partnered with Bishop Garrigan to provide it with special education services and preschool programs. The Algona Community Schools also have a whole-grade sharing agreement in place with the Titonka Consolidated School District in which fifth- through 12th-grade students in the Titonka District attend Algona Community Schools.
Voters in Algona and Titonka voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to consolidate the districts.