Round Rock ISD calls on businesses to enhance education

Corey Ryan, interim executive director of Community and Governmental Relations at Round Rock ISD, explains the district’s strategic plan. Corey Ryan, interim executive director of Community and Governmental Relations at Round Rock ISD, explains the district’s strategic plan.[/caption]

In the coming school year, Round Rock ISD is looking to give its students an academic edge.

At a July 21 Round Rock Chamber luncheon, Corey Ryan, interim executive director of Community and Governmental Relations, explained the district’s strategic plan, which includes enhancing technology and creating real world learning environments for students.

About 130 people, including many local business owners and stakeholders in RRISD, listened to Ryan name several action items the district intends to implement this year, including increasing student access to technology, creating programs that encourage students to use technology and developing programs to get parents involved in technology.

Other action items include identifying disparities in academic achievement and working to eliminate those disparities, he said.

The district also plans to increase student access to early higher education and create flexible programs and learning spaces, he said. For example, Ryan said, 11 high school students in the district are currently interning in the RRISD marketing department.

“They are getting real world experience,” he said.

With the interns’ help, the department plans to launch a new publication in September called Destination Magazine, he added.

Another project, the Dell Library of the Future, tasked 22 students at Cedar Ridge High School with creating the architecture and engineering plans, interior design, web design, and business plan for a city public library and a school library.

Incoming Senior Wesley Matingou told attendees at the luncheon he led the engineering team for the project.

“I learned a lot about what it would be like to live as an engineer,” he said.

Wesley said his team also designed a mobile app to make libraries more integrated and easily allow the transfer of information. The app is now in development, he said.

Ryan went on the say the district plans to form alliances with those who have a vested interest in RRISD with the goal of getting the community more involved in the school district.

Rachael Brunson, RRISD supervisor of Community Partnerships, encouraged business owners to participate in externships, during which teachers spend one week with a business to better understand current practices and pass the knowledge on to their students.

“We need you in our schools to deepen the understanding,” Brunson said. “You don’t know when you’re going to change the trajectory of a student’s life.”

Brunson also said she is working to create a community partnership newsletter, which residents can sign up for at https://tinyurl.com/rrisd-partner.

Superintendent Steve Flores said when implemented, the strategic plan will help RRISD students compete with students on a global level.

“We can create a public school system better than anywhere in the nation,” Flores said.

To read the entire plan, visit www.roundrockisd.org/strategicplanning.