PB Connect 2021

Seventh annual PB Connect has virtual learning focus
Posted on 01/26/2021
Jenifer Richardson and Christy Young

The seventh annual PB Connect took place virtually across campus on Tuesday, Jan. 19, with a digital learning focus.

The internal professional development workshop featured 27 breakout sessions led by Poplar Bluff educators sharing best practices about emerging software being utilized to help reach students, both seated and virtual, including GoGuardian, Google Classroom, Nearpod and Accelerate Education.

Teaching during a public health emergency “has revolutionized how we think about education,” reflected R-I Instructional Coach Keri Jameson who, with help from her team of school ambassadors, organized the event to address “high needs training areas” in the current landscape.

In lieu of a guest speaker, Superintendent Dr. Scott Dill delivered the keynote over Google Meet from his office instead of kicking off an assembly in the PBHS gymnasium. He quoted renowned professor Brené Brown to summarize the past year.

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control of the outcome,” Dill stated. He noted that there was doubt school would be held at various stages during the 2020/21 school year, “yet here we are,” he said before asking faculty to take the time to catch their breath as they collaborate as a Professional Learning Community.

Two $400 IKEA classroom makeovers, sponsored by FCC Behavioral Health and Wall Street Insurance Group, were randomly awarded to Leslie Riefle of Lake Road and Christy Young of Oak Grove elementaries.

Building-level winners of $150 in PB Connect bucks, to be spent on classroom materials, were: Amanda Biri of Early Childhood, Mary Barousse of the Kindergarten Center, Jennifer Morin of Eugene Field, Summer Sitze of Lake Road, Shantel Baranowski of Oak Grove, Jeannie Isom of O’Neal, Lacey Williams-Fry of Middle School, Kathy Pattillo of Junior High, Dean Lackey of Senior High, Sarah Kubus of Mark Twain, and Amanda Howard of the Technical Career Center.

PB Connect was started by the Instructional Technology Department in 2015 under the district’s digital transformation 1:1 laptop initiative for Junior and Senior High, and expanded to include Middle School the following year, before going district-wide to become a full-on education camp.

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Cutline: Oak Grove Principal Jenifer Richardson (left) presents the classroom makeover prize to virtual elementary teacher Christy Young, who plans to maximize the funds on classroom storage.

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