Fall River Public Schools
Technology Plan 2017-2021

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Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Matthew Malone

School Committee  
Honorable Jasiel F. Correia - Chairperson

Mark Costa - Vice-Chairperson

Joseph Martins

Gabriel Andrade

Paul Coogan

Melissa Panchley

Dr. Edward Costar

Technology Plan Committee Members

Frank Farias

Brian Mikolazyk

Nicole Medeiros

Christie Connell

Brad Silva

Elizabeth Lewis

Karen Bodington

Jackie Francisco

Tim Whitford

Raymond Medeiros

Shayna Morgan

Chris Audette

Mission Statement

The Fall River Public Schools are committed to the belief that all students will be successful learners and will be prepared to function as citizens, workers and consumers in a technological society. We believe…

● technology enhances the quality and scope of teaching and learning

● all stakeholders will receive equitable access to technology

● technology should be integrated across the curricula to maximize effective and meaningful instruction

● Through the expanded use of digital media, assistive technologies, and universally designed instruction, diverse learners have access to the curriculum, including those with learning and communication disabilities, cognitive impairments, visual and auditory impairments, and physical challenges.

● administrators, staff, and students must be provided with the appropriate tools, instruction and methodology to fully integrate technology in the education process

● technology resources must continually be evaluated, assessed, and upgraded to ensure maximum opportunity for all learners to be competitive in a technological world

● all learners will have the opportunity, through technology, to reach their full potential and lead lives as participants in the political and social life of the Commonwealth and as contributors to its’ Economy.

Vision

1. Technology will be incorporated into the daily management and operation of classrooms, schools, and the Central Office. It will also serve as an essential element of School Improvement Plans and The District Improvement Plan.

2. All classrooms, media centers, and school offices will be sufficiently equipped and configured to provide all members of the learning community, including students, staff, and parents, with easy and equitable access to emerging and expanding information technologies.

3. We will provide continuous training with follow up to ensure our staff has the appropriate competencies and support needed to use educational technology to deliver instruction, including online professional development, modeling online platforms for learning.

4. Educational technology will be integrated into the curriculum and used in an equitable manner by all students as an essential element of student success.

5. We will facilitate inclusive use of technology/devices using print based text combined with the most current universally designed materials and assistive technologies including digital text, digital media, and computer technologies.

6. Both students and staff will achieve a level of proficiency in using information technologies for research and communication.

7. We will ensure that all students with disabilities receive appropriate assistive technology materials in order to access the curriculum and participate in state and district assessment protocols.

Current Staffing

School Information Coordinator 1 FTE District

Director of Instructional Technology/Webmaster 1 FTE District

Tech Support Center Technician 3.0 FTE District

District Technology Facilitator 3.0 FTE District

Data Specialist / Tech Support Center Manager 1 FTE District

Data Technicians 2 FTE District

Network Coordinator 1.0 FTE

0.75 FTE Contracted Services

Current State and systems

Email System
                
Google Apps for Education (2k Staff/11k Students)

Network
                
Active Directory

Mobile Devices
                
Ipads / BYOD/Kindles

Projectors                
                
Epson  

Servers
                
Microsoft Windows 

SIS
                
Follett

Website
                
Savvy CMS

Wireless
                
75% Meraki/15% Cisco/10%Ruckus

Printing
                
Savin Ricoh

Computers
                
HP PCs 700  Chromebooks 2800

GOALS

1 Blended Learning/Personalized Learning/Online Learning

The district was fortunate enough to receive highly specialized  training and support several years ago through a NCTL grant that allowed us to pair up with several outside agencies to focus on the instructional strategy of blending/personalized learning at two schools.  Our district instructional technology specialists have taken this knowledge and implemented these strategies across the district in various forms.  As a district, throughout this reporting period, we would like to increase the frequency of hands on professional development by our integration specialists around blended and personalized learning  for  teachers so they feel comfortable implementing these instructional strategies in their classrooms more consistently. We plan to use staff/school surveys to get baseline classroom implementation data that will help us  to target schools and classrooms that express interest or are not currently deploying these instructional strategies.  We are also exploring the use of our student SIS to track PD provided by our Integration Specialists along with the continued use of Google Calendar which we currently use to document classroom support. Online learning continues to be a growing part of the educational landscape and currently the FRPS is using a flexible strategy to help expose our students to these opportunities.  At the high school level we are using a paid service, Edgenuity, as our platform in conjunction with Moodle (free) which also serves all other levels.  As a district we are using Edgenuity for credit recovery as well as a digital learning tool designed to assist with Blended/Personalized Learning. We would like to increase access to this platform down to our middle school, if our budget will allow this, to expose these students to resources as well as classes that may not be currently available to them in their course catalog. We are hoping that embracing online learning and its scalability will benefit us in many ways and provide us with a much needed tool to address our *high flyers (students that are functioning/performing at higher levels vs. peers) a group that sometimes gets the least attention because of the high demands/needs of our population.

2 Technology as an Engagement Tool

While many successful strategies are being used involving  technology across the district, we would consider ourselves still emerging in the use of technology as an engagement tool at this time.  While many teachers and departments have embraced the consistent use of technology as an engagement tool, others are still not proficient in its’ use. Our goal will be to have building leaders (principals, vice-principals, deans, department heads and lead teachers) comfortable with the following platforms and devices so that they can model proficient use with these in PLC, and support teachers as they implement this into their practices.  We will continue to provide professional development at the district level on these topics as well as others as they emerge but more importantly we wish to also offer these same trainings to our parents as well to help  increase engagement.  

This list may include but is not limited to:

3 Student Run Tech Helpdesk        

At the district’s high school, our goal is to engage senior students (or upperclassmen),  in providing teachers and students with a “Tech Help Desk” program. We envision this program will resemble the Apple’s Genius Bar and will be run from the school’s IMC.  This program would not only provide tech support to teachers and students in real time, but will engage students,  in experiential learning by doing.  Students will be able to provide low to mid-level tech support as well as basic training and PD for digital programs that we are using throughout the district. If successful with this program at the high school, we intend to replicate down to the middle school level in various forms.  The importance of technology to curriculum and computer based testing has increased over the last several years and has made the need for timely repairs and fixes to our devices crucial. We are hoping to utilize these student run support/help centers to reduce fix it turnaround times and to perform general preventative maintenance on devices to ensure we get the maximum return on our investments.

4 Community Partnerships

5 User Support Software/Help Desk Solution

Our goal is to implement a modern online ticketing system with the ability to track technology support issues, district response time, and collect end user feedback. Ideally the system would include features that would trigger operations upon various events: if problem reported is this, potential solution is this.  Ideally this software would provide us with reports and metrics that could be analyzed to help us make streamline decisions based on our data analysis.   The system will also allow us to provide users with a space for FAQs/Forums where staff could find answers to common technology issues. We are hoping to grow this system to other departments in the district if deployment is successful in technology.  The ultimate goal of this software would be to make sure end users are happy with their interactions with a particular department. In order to ensure that, it is important to find out what makes or has made them unhappy and fix it.

6  Makerspace/Tinkerspaces

Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent. Currently we have 3 Makerspace/Tinkerspace programs up and running throughout the district. These programs are currently in various forms of development ranging from the availability of pool noodles/popsicle sticks to 3d/laser printers. We recognize the educational benefit and excitement that grows out of having these type of programs in a building and would like to make it a goal to have one at each location.  We feel that in a world driven by data, giving students the ability to be creative and explore without traditional rules or boundaries will help enhance and harness curiosity in others areas of learning.

7  Website Redesign

The district originally implemented a fully functional website in 2006 to increase communication between our organization and stakeholders. In 2011 we redesigned our CMS to make it more aesthetically pleasing and to increase two way interactions by giving each site the ability to update/post information on their own. As our usage has grown at each location scalability issues have come up that we believe are related to this increase. We would like to explore several industry leading educational website developers to explore a more intuitive back end user interface that staff would find easier to master.

Cost/Funding

In 2008 there were 12 total MIS staff members, Due to budgetary issues, we have re-organized positions to meet certain needs but have not added additional staffing resources to account for the new workload needs of the district.  Today we still have 12 overall staff. This year for the first time a technology line item has been identified in our FY18 budget. We plan to use that budget to purchase and deploy as many chromebooks as we can throughout the district.

NEEDS

Additional staff

Budget that supports lifecycle replacement

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Department Resources Need

2008

2017

Staff Account Management

Limited access to email and network accounts

All 1500 staff now have network account, email and Aspen access

Most is now automated

Student Accounts Management

No student accounts and limited staff accounts access

All students now have Google access and network access and Aspen access in secondary grades. All staff

Most is now automated

DESE State Reporting

SIMS 3 times EPIMS 1 time per year, No SCS

SIMS 3 times, EPIMS 2 times, SCS 2 times

State reporting now done real time via SIF

Aspen Parent Portal Access

none

6-12 Access

Elementary in 2017-18

Wireless Footprint

In buildings

50% coverage

99% coverage

Over 500 wireless access points

Classroom Technology Equipment

Only select classrooms had  minimum need

95% of classrooms now  have minimum need

Minimum need is Teacher computer, projector , document cameras

School Internet Network

Verizon/City Comcast network

Dedicated Private Fiber Network

2 GB of Internet Access now to share, a 2,000% increase since 2008

Website/ Moodle

Static central website

Dynamic Content Management Website system

Multiple Users now update school and district website.

Proposed Staffing and Program Investments FY19

  1. Addition of a MIS Special Projects*  FTE to support the many district and school based initiatives that are taxing the current department resources. [FREA FTE]

 Some examples:  MCAS Online Rollout, X2 Aspen Initiatives/expansion,  Website Maintenance,   District systems PD and support

 

  1. Addition of Network Telecom FTE to support the final phase of VOIP conversion for all schools,strategic plan for the district’s overall oversight for school building [SNON security and communications and assist with the operations and maintenance of the of the district network [SNON Contract, $55,000 range]  

3.  Additional Instructional Technology Teacher

4. Reduction of 1 Data Technician (goal to reassign to clerk position)  Funds used toward other positions.