Expanding our views on literacy

Welcome to 2015! In the midst of considering my new year’s resolutions it occurred to me that while this calendar year may have just started, our school year is just about halfway finished. I look forward to working hard and enjoying the experiences that the remainder of this school year has in store for us, there are sure to be loads of great memories.

I am also looking forward to a few BIG opportunities on the horizon at Condit. Did you talk to your child about the #hourofcode that every student participated in during technology class with Ms. Pruetz and Ms. Page? Be sure to check out the Condit Lab Links on our website and have your student walk you through some of their experiences with coding this year. I was recently reading a great article (http://goo.gl/zW7UeV) about the necessity of digital literacy. The article draws a fantastic distinction between learning to code versus learning about code. The former is a gateway; a way for students to experience computer science in a new way, and the latter understands how to leverage technology to have it do what you want. This distinction is an important one and will help transition our students from simple consumers to digital creators and logical thinkers. We are excited to bring a sharper focus to computer science, coding, and digital literacy as a whole as we move forward this year and into 2015-2016.

In addition to our students becoming digitally literate I am also looking forward to the opportunity for some of our students to become biliterate when we begin our dual language program with our first kindergarten class in 2015-2016. We are fortunate to be a part of HISD’s expanding dual language programs, where students will become bilingual and biliterate in Spanish and English. Regardless of a student’s first language, acquiring a second language is becoming an important skill as our children become global citizens. We will begin with a single class in kindergarten and add a new kindergarten class each year, eventually having one class in each grade level. This is a real win-win for our community, parents who choose to participate in this program will now have that option and parents that are not interested in the dual language program will continue to have the traditional, exceptional Condit experience. Know that we are committed to rigorous instruction and building a sense of school community in both our traditional and dual language programs.

Being digitally literate and biliterate are increasingly important skills in our quickly changing and expanding world. I couldn’t be prouder of our commitment to preparing our students for success, now and in the future, on many literacy fronts.