Posted on Nov 07, 2018
Dr. Herrera, CEO of Benton Harbor Area Schools made his first visit to Rotary since his appointment in July 2018. The first question was on the role of technology. Dr. Herrera first mention that the school district ha s new curriculum for k-12. The role of tech is to let the teacher personalize the learning for each student.  Many students are not at grade level and a tiered intervention is used.  The district has eleven readingspecialist aid the teachers. Technology is used to provide time outside of class. Tier three involves additional classroom time.
     The district is still 20 teachers short and using substitutes as needed. But the State Department of Education is helping by providing funds to bring teachers pay back in line after many reductions and give-backs.  On average teachers will receive a $9,000 raise.
    The second question was about the High School's reported issue with student fights. Dr. Herrera cited a new principal and teacher shortages as factors.  Student had too much free time and would bring issues from outside into school. Fights tending to grow rather than be isolated incidents. Additional police have calmed the situation but a longer term solution is a code of conduct and working with students to build capacity for better behavior. Disruptive students are being separated from the classes.
   On the water quality, Dr. Herrera said they have gone to bottled water and started testing all the fixtures.  He's not aware of any problems at this time.