Something to brag about: Magazine honors KnoMi initiative

Something to brag about: Magazine honors KnoMi initiative

Story by Press Release

Texas School Business magazine announced Thursday that Texarkana Independent School District’s social networking site, KnoMi, is one of 12 initiatives to be honored in the magazines Fifth Annual Bragging Rights 2011-2012 special issue.  Bragging Rights recognizes school districts that have implemented programs that are bettering the lives of students, schools and communities.  The special issue, which accepts nominations and selects 12 stories to highlight, was distributed to more than 8,000 readers with a vested interest in Texas public education.

TISD developed the KnoMi program in support of their district belief statement that a personalized education maximizes the potential in every student.  The KnoMi program centers around students owning their education by utilizing an individualized plan.

“We realize that successful students know what they would like to do when they grow up or at least know their strengths and weaknesses enough to provide direction toward possible careers,” superintendent Paul Norton said.  “Many others may not nor do they have the parental support to guide them.  Our hope through KnoMi is for students to take full advantage of their Pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade years by showing them that they need to discover their personal mission in life in order to set short term and long terms goals in their education, health and career paths.”

To that end, the KnoMi curriculum teaches students how to create long term goals and how to clearly define what must be done today to realize those goals.  The process called “mental time travel” helps a student to become constantly aware of the past and the future while tying today with where they have come and where they are headed.

The teaching strategy chosen to educate students in setting goals is called SMART for Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timely.  Students characterize each goal by how “SMART” it is and then refine the goal until it becomes as SMART as the student can express.  Within the goal setting are four destinations points:  Home & Family; Community Involvement & Service; Hobbies Recreation & Wellness; Education & Career.

In addition to the goal development programs, KnoMi features subscription sites for school clubs, athletic events, universities and local non-profit organizations, as well as social networking components to keep students engaged.

“We were very impressed by the district’s ingenuity to embrace social networking and transform this very popular medium into a learning tool that brings teachers, parents and students together,” said Texas School Business Editorial Director Katie Ford.  “This is a model program, and we’re proud to highlight it as an example of excellence in Texas public education.”

Norton said he was pleased that Texas School Business selected TISD and KnoMi for the honor.

“Our key team of administrators, technology and curriculum experts worked many long hours to make this program possible and our students benefit daily from the opportunity to be part of a connected community where they can create meaningful, measurable and trackable goals in key areas of their lives,” Norton said.

This was the first year that Texas School Business enlisted volunteer editorial advisers to review nominations and assist in selecting the 12 honorees in Bragging Rights.  The advisers were Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott and Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Superintendent LaTonya Goffney.  With the advisers’ input, the Texas School Business editorial staff chose the final 12.

For 58 years, Texas School Business has served as the independent voice for public education in Texas.  The magazine, which is distributed 12 times a year, is read by educators and school administrators across Texas.  To read TISD’s story online, visit www.texasschoolbusiness.com.