On April 11, 2016, Forest Grove Elementary was honored to represent the United States of America, as it hosted five Japanese government representatives participating in a project entitled, “Development of Industry in the Era of Information Revolution.”
The participants have been invited to the U.S. under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. The visitors included: an Investigator from the Japan Fair Trade Commission; an Official from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare; a Chief Official of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; and two Assistant Directors from different divisions of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.
The theme of the project in Pittsburgh, PA focused on how different industries are employing technological innovation to increase productivity and what academic, business and public sector entities are promoting technological innovation to increase productivity. Forest Grove Elementary was selected to showcase its innovative programs to represent innovation in American schools.
Some of the highlights of the tour was a first grade 1:1 digital classroom using coding to tell a story in literacy class, students using Ozobots in the school’s MakerSpace, Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLEs) in the media center, mixed-virtual reality, educational technology research through the district’s partnership with Carnegie Mellon University and digital citizenship through Common Sense Education.
Joining the tour for the Montour School District was Superintendent, Dr. Christopher Stone and Director Academic Achievement (K-4) and District Innovation, Justin Aglio. In addition, many teachers interacted with the Japanese representatives including, first grade teacher Lyndsay Aleski, librarian Dan Evans, ESL teacher Jean Lowden and resource teacher Jim Lach. Also, students in art class with the guidance of art teacher Anita Marsico showcased the school with Japanese culture decorations.