by Andy Cen and Johnny Ha
Even though Dr. Michael Reimer is only in his first year as Galileo’s principal, he has already started planning major improvements for the school in order to improve and integrate technology, renovate facilities, and help build stronger academics.
Dr. Reimer’s first project was to fundraise for a special project, called “Tint Up”. ”Tint Up” is a self-service platform that allows organizations to create social hubs in minutes and engage audiences anywhere. Dr. Reimer decided to team up with “Tint Up” because he wants to strengthen and be leading on the school’s technology since Galileo is a school of science and technology.
In order to afford the big project, Dr Reimer started an online funding program on DonorsChoose.org to receive fundings. The entire project costs $2,632.19 and a total of 25 donors have donated $2,633.00 to the project in 5 weeks. “We were able to found this project without tapping school’s budget and the materials are being shipped out to the school soon. “Tint Up” and the screens will be up on the school site later on in the year and be one of the things that people might notice first and start to interact with it hopefully, right away,” said Dr. Reimer.
Besides integrating technology more at the school, Dr. Reimer has plans on renovating parts of the facilities. The cafeteria and gyms are the focus of the renovations. SFUSD’s Future Dining Experience, who renovated Roosevelt Middle School’s cafeteria, will be renovating Galileo’s cafeteria next year, starting with the designing process in fall 2016. “We will use a designing process, “D School Thinking” to incorporate students’ input to include a group of students and community members to give input into the look and feel of the new cafeteria,” said Dr. Reimer.
For the gyms, Dr. Reimer and assistant principal of facilities, Mr. Heringer met with architects and did a walkthrough to renovate the Van Ness Gym. Dr. Reimer and Mr. Heringer started by having them repaint the walls of the gym. New windows and blinds and upgrading the lighting will happen next year. “The renovation process will begin in the summer of 2016. The gym’s renovation project is about $1 million dollars worth of improvement. The Bay Street gyms will also be upgraded, but it will be a longer project which will take about about 3 to 5 years to complete,” said Dr Reimer.
Restoring the observatory is also one of Dr. Reimer’s facilities upgrade plans. Numerous parents and alumni association people have been interested in the possibility of having the observatory restored. Dr. Reimer said, “We’re a science and technology school, so it will be great if we can work together and eventually upgrade our observatory as well.
Another of Dr. Reimer’s plans is partnering up with companies that can help the school, students, and teachers. Dr. Reimer and math teacher, Ms. Degele had a meeting with a Google employee to talk about the plans and revisions for the school site in hope that Google can help support some of Dr. Reimer’s ideas.
Dr. Reimer wants to develop a 21st century skills set in students and staff, known as the 4 C’s: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. He has asked Google for 3 big “buckets”, 3 things that he believes will improve the school. The first bucket, infrastructure is to help around the school with more Chromebooks and tablets, projectors, document cameras, auditorium screens and Chromecast. The second bucket, staff is having a Google buddy for academy and pathway teachers to support and train them for Google Apps for Education (GAFE), a core suite of productivity applications that Google offers to schools and educational institutions for free. The third and final bucket, students is to ask Google for internships, workshops, an app club, and to do a hackathon to develop an app for the school.
“We are very excited by the possibility of working to strengthen our academics, technology, infrastructure, and some site facilities. I’m happy to report that on all three fronts, we have got some exciting things in store. Some of those things will be changing later on in the school year on site,” said Dr. Reimer.