Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Education kicked off their first back-to-school tour called #ReThinkSchools! The purpose of this tour is highlight the innovative and groundbreaking work happening in schools across America. The “Rethink School” tour will showcase creative ways in which education leaders are meeting the needs of students in K-12 and higher education.

The Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, will be speaking at each school about how the family is the nucleus of civic life, but too many in Washington have forgotten that, the bigger the education “system” the smaller the student!

The first stop on Day 3 of the tour was Nelson Mandela Elementary. At Mandela Elementary, they teach their students to play the violin through a partnership with the Omaha Conservatory of Music. Mandela Elementary is a tuition-free private school for students in the surrounding neighborhood who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. They are committed to maximizing the educational success of all students and bridging learning and achievement gaps.

It’s time to re-think what education means to each individual student and to re-think what it means to engage students in a life-long learning journey and prepare for successful careers and lives. Rethinking education ultimately means returning power to parents and families.

It’s time to #ReThinkSchool!