John Ewald became the Superintendent of the Laurel School District in October of last year. He moved to Laurel from Montgomery County, Maryland. In order to make their experiences better, he wants to learn what their school day is like.
This month, Ewald has been shadowing one student in each of the district's six schools. So far, he's shadowed students at North Laurel and Dunbar Elementary Schools, along with Laurel Middle School. On Thursday, he'll shadow a student at Laurel Intermediate School, and on Friday, he'll shadow a student at Laurel High School. On February 14, he'll shadow a student at Western Sussex Academy. Ewald has been tweeting about what he's been seeing and hearing during the school day. However, he says students are asking him to not tweet as much. In his conversations with students, Ewald says they've been telling him that they're looking ahead to either going to college or into the workforce after high school. He says he's learned that not only are the teachers committed to pushing the students to be their best, but that the students are also committed to their educations. Ewald says he got the idea for shadowing students during the school day from Dr. Joshua Starr, the superintendent of the Montgomery County Public Schools.
Ewald has hosted a pair of "Student Town Halls" so far this year. He says at those meetings, high school seniors have suggested adding more challenging AP courses. Ewald also says that eighth and 12th-graders have also suggested larger portions for school lunches, and more extracurricular activities.
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