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A kid centric focus
New Lindsay Unified School District superintendent to focus on increased learning.
For Tom Rooney, the new Lindsay Unified School District Superintendent (LUSD), this school year is all about the students and their needs.
“The focus must be on [the] kids. What is best for our kids is essential,” said Rooney.
The school year begins Monday and student progress and achievement remain top priority. They will be achieved through the continued building and refinement of the performance-based system.
“[The] main focus is to increase student achievement [with] learning at higher content levels and all grade levels,” said Rooney who brings 21 years of educational experience with past posts like assistant superintendent, assistant principal and teacher, to the position.
Originally from Ojai, he is not new to LUSD as he was the assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in Lindsay for the past seven years.
The performance-based system is “a clearly defined curriculum of learning, teaching, and comprehensive assessment which gives specific information about what a learner knows and does not know. [It’s] ensuring learning and not just moving learners forward even if they don’t understand [the] content or have knowledge or skills,” added Rooney.
Today’s technology will be used to further this goal with the distribution of 2,500 Netbooks to the districts 4,100 learners. Those who receive this tool will be able to have 24-hour, seven-day a week access to information via wireless capabilities. This will ensure more access to materials.
“[This] will increase the amount of time they are learning, [including] nights and weekends, and [will] increase the amount of information that they learn and have access too,” stated Rooney.
Other new developments include having a minimum of three computers in each classroom for grade K-3 pupils, and a minimum of five computers for grade 4-12 pupils which is in addition to the one or two labs that each school may contain. A long term goal, or what he termed “bigger picture” is the continued implementation of the (LUSD) strategic design which is a document that outlines what the stakeholders and community want for each of their learners and for the educational system as a whole.
He stresses that parents and the community are just as important to a child’s development as is the school system.
“Their kids need them to be a model and a system of support, love, and encouragement. [The] more they can be involved in [the] life of their kids in school and out of school the better for their kids,” said Rooney.
He holds an Administrative Credential from California State University, Bakersfield and a Master of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, and his Teaching Credential from California State University, Fresno.