School & District Management Opinion

The Leader Behind Two Students and a Master Schedule Solution

By Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers — June 29, 2017 3 min read
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On June 14th Peter DeWitt hosted a guest blog by two students from Fond du Lac High School (FHS). They wrote about their solution to their schools’s master schedule problem. Today, guest blogger Michelle Hagen, the principal of FHS, shares that journey from her leadership perspective.

Fond du Lac High School has the good fortune of having a 45-minute period each day called ‘Cardinal Time’, which is an Intervention/Enrichment Opportunity for students. FHS is a large high school, serving approximately 2100 students and the logistics of managing this daily self-selected period were challenging. Two years ago, our school purchased a scheduling program that allowed students and teachers the opportunity for flexible scheduling for this period. The program that we purchased was helpful, but it didn’t quite meet all our needs.

This fall, two remarkable young men, seniors at Fondy, approached Mr. Scottberg, the assistant principal charged with the role of scheduling that hour. The students, Isaiah Zubke and Kevin Wuest identified some of the difficulties with our current scheduling program, including the ability for students to “override” the program. Isaiah and Kevin came with a solution-focused perspective. As young entrepreneurs, Isaiah and Kevin Co-founded Rebentify Technologies and offered their services in creating a new scheduling program that would address each of our needs as well as increase the security of the program.

Mr. Scottberg met with me, Isaiah, and Kevin to introduce their proposal. Their comprehensive plan addressed all of the concerns we had identified and because of their familiarity with the program we were using, their plan also ensured the ease of use for all stakeholders. The boys indicated that they would be prepared to launch their Rebenitfy platform the second semester of the 2016-17 school year.

As the principal, I was excited to give the students the opportunity to to create the program. After contacting the District Business Director for approval, the boys were given the go ahead! Throughout the first semester, Isaiah and Kevin worked closely with Mr. Scottberg, keeping him updated on their progress and sharing concerns encountered along the way.

I am pleased to report that the Rebentify Scheduling Program that they created has been very successful! The program they developed was tailored to meet the needs of our school. They provided training for the teachers and the students and addressed issues/concerns that came up along the way. All stakeholders are pleased with the program!

As school leaders, our goal is to prepare students for life after high school, helping them to be college and career ready. I feel fortunate that our students felt the academic environment allowed them to present their proposal for consideration. I also feel fortunate that our District allowed us to move forward, trusting our decision that the boys would produce a quality product. This experience had not only given them a real-life success story, the potential for their small company to grow is exponential.

Through the support they have received, they have been given multiple opportunities to share their story, including co-writing a guest article for Peter DeWitt’s blog, Finding Common Ground. We have some very talented young adults that walk through our doors everyday. If given the opportunity to develop their potential, our students may likely have the answers to many troublesome questions.

I am very proud of Isaiah and Kevin and wish them well as they graduate on move on to the next chapter in their lives. If you are at all interested in exploring their scheduling program, you can contact them at www.rebentify.com.

Ann Myers and Jill Berkowicz are the authors of The STEM Shift (2015, Corwin) a book about leading the shift into 21st century schools. Connect with Ann and Jill on Twitter or Email.

Illustration by geralt courtesy of Pixabay

The opinions expressed in Leadership 360 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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