Covington Community Schools Innovative Technology Finalized Planning Grant Report

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1 Covington Community Schools Innovative Technology Finalized Planning Grant Report Covington Community Schools believes that students learn differently and at individual paces. To ensure that our students are prepared for their future, we will provide a blended learning environment that combines teaching methods from both face-to-face and online learning. This blended learning model will help schools within our district address the challenges of student achievement and expectations of 21st Century Learning. Covington Community Schools leaders recognize that online learning environments, digital access, and face-to-face interactions are crucial to our students for college preparation and/or career readiness. To that end, Covington Community Schools administrators and teachers have been exploring how technology devices could impact instruction and learning. Pilot teachers in the high school, middle school and elementary are working together to plan and develop face-to-face instruction and integrate online components to enrich student learning experiences. Students will be provided blended learning opportunities carefully selected by the pilot teachers to fit the students learning styles, the teachers teaching styles, and the content aligned curriculum. Furthermore, Covington Community Schools recognizes that the following statements are critical to the success of building this blended environment that will lead students to success. COVINGTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS students must prepare to function and compete in a 21 st Century world. COVINGTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS must make technology necessary, available, and seamless as both instructional and productive tools for teachers and students. Digital learning is a critical tool to integrating higher levels of critical thinking skills needed to meet college and career ready standards. Professional development focuses on the development of innovative teaching strategies and materials integrating technology rather than treating technology as a separate process. Access to both formal and informal digital assessments aid teachers in immediately addressing the individual needs of students. Technology and digital resources have the potential to enhance instruction and learning. The Covington Community Schools Strategic Technology Plan is created through a collaborative effort of the Superintendent, High School, Middle School, and Elementary Principals, K-12 teachers and the Covington Community Schools Technology Department. Provisions are made so that this Strategic Technology Plan will be reviewed and revised each semester for the span of three years. Covington Community Schools Pg. 1

2 Background COVINGTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS is located in rural west central Indiana. Consisting of two campuses and serving 965 students and 69 certified staff members. Covington s school populations are as follows: 430 elementary (K-5) students, 245 middle school (6-8), and 290 High School (9-12). The Covington Community Schools vision has always included staying up-to-date in the area of instructional technology; however, funding cuts have affected our ability to do so. While trying to provide teachers with basic professional development and technology tools, in the last few years, Covington Community Schools has only been able to fully support a few teachers who were individually motivated and sought avenues to integrate technology extensively. As a result, our corporation is proactively engaged in seeking effective ways to improve our instructional use of technology. The Innovative Technology Planning Grant provided a platform for investigating technology personnel needs, infrastructure changes, and researching all aspects of 1:1 technology integration models throughout the state of Indiana. Coving Community Schools applied for and received an Innovation Planning Grant that included the following goals: Goal #1: The Leadership Team will develop a formal plan that provides clear steps to implement one-to-one mobile devices for all K-12 students which will give students access to more global resources. Goal #2: Improvement in student achievement will continue as the Leadership Team develops a plan to establish a balanced and blended environment for teaching and learning. Goal #3: An effective professional development plan for teachers will be created with a date to implement the plan so they will be trained to deliver effective instruction to the students. COVINGTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS Technology Assessment As identified in the Innovation Planning Grant, formal Technology and Instructional Practice Assessments were conducted by Five-Star Technology Solutions. Reports documenting Covington Community Schools provided documentation of strengths and weaknesses, most of which our corporation was already aware. The Covington Community Schools leadership understands the necessity of the importance of investing in, and improving, the infrastructure in preparation of implementing a robust high access learning environment. Covington Community Schools Pg. 2

3 The Technology Assessment, identified strengths including: A basic infrastructure incorporating network fiber from ENA 95% of classrooms have digital projectors District houses mobile laptop computer carts and self-contained labs Security systems Scheduled upgrades include: Infrastructure bandwidth increase to 15 mb New switches Increasing number and coverage of wireless access points Every teacher will receive new desktop computers to begin the school year COVINGTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS Instructional Practice Assessment All members of the Strategic Planning Committee acknowledged that there were few surprises found in the Instructional Practice Assessment and felt that professional development models to help teachers adapt their pedagogy to meet the needs of today s learners was a critical need. Prior to the Innovation Planning Grant Covington Community Schools leaders understood the value of observing and investigation other school districts who were already implementing, discussing, planning and implementing 21 st century skills and instructional strategy changes. Covington administrators and teachers: Conducted school visits at schools who were using and successfully implementing 1:1 models Attending e-learning conferences Piloting Edmodo and usage of targeted devices e.g., IPADS, Netbooks and Laptop Carts Participated in a district sponsored technology grant which awarded 8 Apple devices with stylus Sending Leadership Team to HECC Conference In order to begin a transition to a more integrated and hands-on learning environment, Covington Community Schools has created a three-year technology strategic plan that targets infrastructure changes, increased technology usage in grades K-12, and provide professional development for all staff to support the pedagogical changes needed for a successful 1:1 integration. Covington Community Schools Pg. 3

4 COVINGTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS Technology Strategic Plan Goal 1: Foster a wireless environment that will support blended 1:1 classroom learning: A formalized, published and maintained timeline of current and planned technology-related purchases and installations moves us to a blended 1:1 environment in a timely manner. This goal begins this summer with an extensive network upgrade, internet bandwidth upgrade, and increased wireless controller capabilities. Metrics for Goal 1: An upgraded, robust infrastructure at Covington Community Schools supports bandwidth measured by bandwidth usage Measured by the new technology troubleshooting software to be implemented in the school year. Administrator observation data during school-wide instructional walkthroughs of students using wireless Pilot teacher feedback from administrators and peers Goal 2: Support a professional learning environment for Covington Community Schools educators: A systematic, organized approach to professional learning with clear expectations for classroom implementation arms Covington Community Schools educators with skills to enhance their teaching by integrating higher order thinking and questioning, Learning Management Systems, the investigation of project-based learning and flipped classroom models, authentic student engagement and integrated curriculum articulation, thus allowing teachers to effectively differentiate instruction. Metrics for Goal 2: Number of on- and off-site professional development opportunities should increase. Through exit surveys following all required professional development Covington Community Schools teachers and administrators reflect upon their progress and identify future professional development needs. Administrators and teachers identify SAMR indicators to assess progress of integrating technology into the daily learning environment Covington Community Schools Pg. 4

5 Strategic Implementation Timeline Attachment -Appendix A Covington Community Schools The vision for moving towards a 1:1 learning environment requires the consistent communication between building level teams. Covington Community School leadership and curriculum teams created technology related goals that specifically address the unique learning needs of students, staff professional development, the investigation of project sustainability, and parent/family outreach. The Superintendent and the Leadership team members plan to support this three-year plan through: Focusing financial resources on the acquisition of updated infrastructure and technology components e.g., laptops, IPADS or other devices Focusing financial and planning (time) resources for providing blended learning, job-embedded, and/or conferences to promote differentiated professional development for staff Partnering with community or grant sponsored entities to sustain the continuation of 1:1 implementation Develop, enhance and promote the parent outreach forums to educate the families about the 21 st century learning environment implementation and planning underway Conclusion Covington Community Schools School is moving forward toward the goal of creating a blended, 1:1 learning environment. Funding plans for infrastructure projects have been presented to the school board members and approved for immediate implementation. Furthermore, we are planning additional steps to move forward in the process of selecting affordable devices that best support our curriculum and our students needs, realizing that this may result in a limited variety of devices or other less expensive alternatives. While actual networking and devices are important, as a school community, we realize that professional development and teacher support is fundamental for supporting 21 st century learning environments for every Covington Community Schools child. For this reason our efforts will focus on building an environment of support that is both powerful and individualized as teachers take incremental steps to integrating technology effectively and efficiently into their curriculum. COVINGTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS is committed to preparing their students and teachers to lead productive lives in an ever-changing global society. Covington Community Schools Pg. 5

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