It’s been said that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. On Friday, Arizona’s Bella Vista Elementary School in Sierra Vista may have just made that first step in its journey towards improving itself technologically.
And it all occurred because one person, unprompted by her boss or any other superior, took the initiative to find a solution to an issue that has gone unsolved at her LEA. That person was Linda Wilson, Bella Vista’s designated Title 1 teacher.
She attended the Cochise County SMILE Conference to learn more about the Arizona Department of Education’s AELAS initiatives. She ended up coming away with much more.
Having heard about AELAS at a previous education conference in Tucson, Wilson was curious whether any of AELAS’ components could prove beneficial to Sierra Vista schools. Until she had attended the SMILE Conference on Friday, her only knowledge of AELAS was what she had briefly read online.
“I think at Bella Vista we’re looking to use technology more and more to our advantage,” Wilson said. “We use a lot of the Title 1 budget to purchase technology and what I see lacking at my school is that data piece.
“So I thought that this conference would probably help. And it did!”
Wilson was able to meet and discuss her LEA’s specific concerns with ADE CIO Mark Masterson, who was presenting at the SMILE Conference. It turns out that AELAS will provide immediate assistance for her district.
For her LEA, the most essential AELAS initiative at this moment will be AZDash. AZDash consolidates and presents student performance data in easy-to-use interactive dashboards.
“Those dashboards are just amazing,” Wilson declared. “The ability to see the attendance data is just going to save parents and teachers volumes of time and effort.”
In fact, Wilson stated that she could not wait to return to her school so she could rave about the dashboards to her principal. She believes that they will be ideal for parent-teacher conferences, as well as for a myriad of other uses.
“It’s going to be great when we have our child study teams because now we’re just sitting at a table with just a million pieces of paper,” Wilson added.
Just think, all of this was because one person was willing to take one step.