Worthington News

Guest column

Technology helps students stay connected with community


When it comes to sharing information about our schools with the Worthington community, one of my favorite ways we have done that is through talking one on one to parents and community members at neighborhood coffees, at school buildings, at civic events and via my weekly summer lunches at Panera.

We were able to not only listen to what's on your mind, but we also were able to share with you some of the initiatives that Worthington schools have been working on, as well as some of the challenges we face.

We know the interest is there from a great number of residents to attend these meetings, but we also know some community members are not always able to attend these events in person because of work and busy schedules.

To address that, Worthington schools are using technology and are now coming to you via your computer or smartphone. Last spring, we started hosting online lunches with the superintendent. Not only are we able to share important information with you about our schools, but participants also can ask questions and get them answered on the spot. In fact, we encouraged participants to use social media by either posting questions of the Worthington City Schools Facebook page or by tweeting #askdrtucker to our Twitter feed to ensure that we had a chance to answer as many questions as possible.

During the online lunches, we covered such topics as the new state report card and the new learning standards, and we featured students who participate in many of our innovative programs.

High school students were able to share their firsthand experiences in our Project Lead the Way engineering program, and our elementary kids shared how the Leader in Me program helped them reach their fullest potential.

We also had great questions from a variety of people, and the online format provides flexibility in people's schedule that isn't always possible through traditional meetings. In fact, we had a mother participate from her kitchen while feeding her toddler, and several parents and community members logged in from work during their lunch break.

When it comes to communication, our goal is to offer as many venues as possible for each citizen to have his or her questions answered in a transparent and honest way. We are in the process of developing the next online lunch and are excited to share even more great news with you.

We hope you can join us, and if you have any questions or ideas, don't forget to #askdrtucker.

Worthington City Schools Superintendent Thomas Tucker can be reached via email at ttucker@worthington.k12.oh.us.