Engagement Lab Brings a World of Imagination to the Classroom

The Northeast Dubois County School Corporation met on Tuesday night with a full agenda of exciting updates. 

Principal Courtney Hopf opened the meeting with an overview of some new and remarkable learning opportunities for students. After receiving the Early Literacy award and grant last month, teachers and administration wanted to find something sustainable that could provide a lasting impact for staff and students. They decided on the installation of an Engagement lab, designed by Get Your Teach On. The lab utilizes audio and video elements, along with some additional props, to create themed scenes to accompany educational lessons. The result is a fully immersive experience where lights and scenes surround the students and transform the classroom. Some current themes in use include March Madness, Jurassic Park dinosaurs, and the beach, but unlimited scenes can be created. For Read Across America Day, a Dr. Seuss theme was created with moving walls, music, popcorn donated by Rural King, and a movie theatre atmosphere for kids to enjoy as they participated in reading labs. For March Madness, STEM students created robots out of various materials and coded them to shoot baskets while being cheered on by Looney Toons characters in the background. The March Madness theme will be in use and open to the public this Thursday, March 21 st from 4:30-7 at the Spring Carnival.  

In other business, a number of Northeast Dubois Jr /Sr. High School’s open positions created by recent resignations and retirements were approved to be filled. The retirement of Terry Friedman, Athletic Director of Northeast Dubois Jr /Sr. High School, was also announced. Friedman will be retiring after 18 years, and the board emphasized that he will be missed. 
Dr. Tara Rasche gained the board’s approval to adopt a resolution to join litigation against social media companies, citing the surgeon general’s advisory regarding the effects of social media on youth mental health. She read the resolution to attendees, saying, “the Northeast Dubois County School Corporation has, and continues to, experience significant problems with student use of social media and recognizes this poses a significant risk to the health and well-being of its students.” The positive aspects of social media were acknowledged, saying, “This litigation is not fighting against social media. It is fighting against their design and targeting. They are targeting teens and tweens in a dangerous, addictive way. Social media platforms need to be designed in a responsible manner, not intentionally risky and harmful. There needs to be guidelines to make it a safe place.” The board approved the resolution’s adoption, agreeing that adjustments need to be made to make these platforms a safer space for students.  

Some important upcoming dates include no school on March 22 nd , and Spring Break beginning next week on March 25 th . April 1 st will be a snow makeup day, and April 8 th is scheduled to be an e-learning day for the eclipse. 

For more information on these and other updates, visit www.nedubois.k12.in.us

 - By Drew Hasselbring