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Friday, October 18, 2019

Mr. Luppo: CCJHS Teacher of the Year!!

“My son’s favorite teacher!” “He makes social studies interesting and fun.”  These statements are in praise of Dennis Luppo, a popular Columbia Central Junior High School social studies teacher.  This past year, he was nominated and voted “Teacher of the Year” by his fellow junior high school teachers.

Columbia School District has a great group of teachers and Mr. Luppo is just one of many positive hardworking academic instructions.  Mr. Luppo recently received the Superintendent’s Award of Excellence which recognized Dennis Luppo for his outstanding performance, hard work, and dedication to Columbia School District.  His dedication to our students, family and staff is greatly appreciated.

Mr. Luppo is consistently working to advance his students to higher levels of academic achievement through careful planning and focus on increasing his student’s educational excellence.  He works to motivate his students by encouraging them to exceed their expectations and their past social studies performance.  His caring and nurturing spirit supports students both academically and socially.

Mr. Luppo said that, “There are endless reasons why I love teaching and love Columbia. What I love most about teaching middle school students is that they challenge me daily to be a better educator. Their needs change on a daily basis, and I love the challenge of figuring out how to empower them to become successful learners. The people at Columbia are wonderful to work with and they really care about the school, staff, students, sports, and our image. I wouldn’t trade being here for anything in the world.” 

Columbia teachers recognize Mr. Luppo for his leadership in the classroom and as an important part of the school improvement efforts.  For several years he has coached the junior high school football and basketball teams.  His enthusiasm for learning in various settings is illustrated by his ability to demonstrate creativity and innovation in his lesson plans and using teaching methods that inspire students to learn.

Columbia School District appreciates the hard work and excellence in education provided to our students in Mr. Luppo’s classes.  The students benefit from his tenacity, educational enthusiasm, and positive ethical spirit.  Mr. Luppo is an extraordinary dedicated teacher, blessed by his various teaching gifts. He is an exemplary teacher who fosters a collaborative environment for his students through his deep passion for learning.  If you are interested in attending Columbia School District, please email me at or call 5175926641.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Columbia: Focused on Kids!

Recently I saw an informational graphic that indicates that every 60 seconds there are 3.8 million searches on Google!  Everything happens so fast!  The informational age presses us to complete many tasks with the assistance of technology.  Technology is present in every facet of our lives: from the time we get up and turn on the light, to the last minute text we send out before we go to sleep.  Imagine the world without the high tech influences, such as when years ago before there were light bulbs and people used candle light.  It is incredible that it would take 765 candles to equal a 60 watt bulb.  It is amazing how much technology has change our lives.

In education we often speak about the importance of STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Part of that importance is because the technology permeates every facet of our lives.  No longer do we use maps, we use GPS technology to search out and give us directions at every turn. At the Columbia School District we appreciate and focus on all areas of the curriculum, the STEM areas, foreign language, art, and music.  Students in our elementary may take advantage of after school and summer enhancement programs in Spanish language.  Our formal foreign language program begins in junior high school with an introduction to both French and Spanish.  As students learn and progress, they may continue to build their expertise in French or Spanish. 
Art!  Just the word conjures up visions of famous art pieces, hanging alongside of an inventive piece of kindergarten art.  Recently while speaking with a classroom full of sixth grade students I mentioned that I had a piece of art on my wall from one of the artists in the classroom.  Our students benefit from the opportunity to take art all throughout their educational pathway at Columbia.  Our elementary students love art because it generates creativity and gives them a basis for future academic success in all areas of their curriculum through the enhancement of their motor skills, visual acuity, and decision making.
Columbia School District has a focus on music beginning with our kindergartners!   General music is offered to all of our students.  Our students learn various areas of music, including choral music, and instrumental music.  One of the high lights for our elementary students is the Annual Second Grade musical.  Each year Mr. Cryderman spends hours and hours with our second graders learning, practicing and performing the musical.  The students learn many things through this experience.  Our music program enhances the natural creativity of our students.  They have the opportunity to learn camaraderie, gain self-confidence, and increase academic success.  Studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between music and mathematics.
Our music program gives students an opportunity to experience instrumental music through recorders in fourth grade, and band beginning in fifth grade.  The Columbia School District music teachers, Mr. Cryderman, Mr. Folts, and Mr. Akers combine to give our students a chance to learn how to play various types of musical instruments, including woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments. 
The junior and senior high school musicals allow students to extend their love of music by combining dancing, singing and instrumental music.  The various musicals that our talented students have performed have given them insight into enhanced group interactions, increased self-confidence, and a positive academic correlation.  Giving our students the best opportunities in all areas of the curriculum including technology, art, foreign language, and music, will provide an enhanced level of success for all of our children and give them memories, skills, and experiences that will last a lifetime.  If you are interested in learning more about our programs at Columbia School District, email me at or call 5175926641.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Integrating Technology into our Lives

The other day one of my friends told me about an experience with his son.  They were out in the woods doing some hiking and hunting.  As the sun rose and lit the trees with its rays, his son said about the vibrant fall colors practically leaping off of the leaves, “This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in nature.”  This ten-year-old was focused on the incredible beautiful ever changing colors of the leaves. 

 As I rush out the door every morning, I take a minute to focus on the beautiful colors of the changing leaves and the rays of the warming sun.  Recently as I gazed up at the bright oranges, yellows, reds and greens of the trees, it made me think about how education has changed over the past several years. 

Technology is one of the most brightest and colorful ever changing areas of education, much like the changing colors of the leaves on the trees.  These days we hear a lot of changing ideas about educating our children.  One phrase we have heard a lot about is “Blended Learning.”  What exactly is blended learning and does it have positive results for our students? 

Blended learning uses both digital learning strategies through online media and traditional classroom instruction.  Students are able to complete the online portion of the learning, decide on the place they access the online content and set an appropriate pace.  Columbia Central High School students use blended learning strategies in quite a few of their classrooms.  Some of our teachers use a strategy called “Flipped Classroom.”  In this strategy students choose the time and place that they review the material in the lesson before coming to class.  This material may include research, specific online sites or a Podcast.  Once the students arrive in class they begin with activities based upon the material they covered online and may follow up with an assessment covering their assignment and activities.

Blended learning activities also are taking place at Columbia Upper Elementary School.  Many teachers are using strategies that integrate technology both at home and during school.  Recently I spoke to several students who were working on a blended learning technique that included doing online research, creating a graphic organizer and translating that into a multi-page website.  This strategy gave the students an opportunity to work in their own time, at their own pace, using a learning-path they chose and a place that worked for them. 

In some of our Columbia Elementary School classrooms teachers are having students write in their blogs online and then classmates, parents, and other relatives, in addition to the teacher, read and write reviews.  This partnership between parents, students and the teacher is made possible through the online techniques of blended learning.

At Columbia Options High School students use online applications during their traditional classes as well as during their virtual classes.  We support students as they complete their virtual classes with a drop-in center and a resource teacher.  Many students find the virtual portion to be better suited to their learning needs, but they also find the resource teacher very important to assist them with questions.

By integrating technology and blended learning into the curriculum teachers must reinvent their teaching techniques.  To adapt the learning activities into this innovative way of teaching and learning, teachers collaborate together and experience a sustainable, transformation that results in meaningful student growth.

At Columbia we have worked to integrate technology into the curriculum and use blended learning strategies to enhance students’ ability to acquire new knowledge, we have seen a progressive improvement of student retention by using these techniques.  As we continue to use blended learning activities, strategies and techniques with our students we anticipate that they will increase their performance on post activity assessments.  When you look up at the beautiful changing fall leaves, remember to think about the changing look of technology in education. If you would like to learn more about Columbia School District or our programs, call me at 5175926641 or email me at .