Chequamegon

School District

Combined Information and Technology Plan

July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2014

Chequamegon School District

420 North 9th Street

Park Falls, WI  54552

_______________________________________________

David G. Anderson, District Administrator

Plan Contact – Sue Houkom

715-762-2474, ext. 2240

shoukom@csdk12.net

Approved by the Board of Education on <Month Day, Year>


Table of Contents

Section                        Page

Executive Summary        4

  1. INTRODUCTION

Evidence of Relevant Research and Best Practices Review         5

        Bibliography        7

District Information and Technology Vision Statement and

                Indication of Relationship between Plan and Vision and Mission Statements        8

District Information and Technology Mission Statement and

                Indication of Relationship between Plan and Vision and Mission Statements        8                

  1. BACKGROUND

Community/School District Demographics        9

District Information and Technology Team        10

District Technology Plan Writing Committee        11

Overview of Planning Process        11

Community Resources and Adult Literacy Providers        12

  1. CURRENT STATUS AND NEEDS ASSESSMENT

Assessment of Progress toward Previous Plan’s Goals        13

Analysis of Student Proficiency        27

        Identification of Underserved Populations        27                        

Analysis of Educator Proficiency        28

Analysis of Effective Teaching and Learning Practices        30

Analysis of Access to Information Resources and Learning Tools        31

Analysis of Support Systems and Leadership        34

Analysis of Resources/Fixed Assets        35

  1. GOALS AND OBJECTIVE and IMPLEMENTATION ACTION PLAN – Inserted tables        46
  2. BUDGET                60
  3. DISSEMINATION TO STAKEHOLDERS        62
  4. MONITORING, EVALUATION, AND REVISION OF THE PLAN

        7.1        Monitoring and Evaluation Process        63

APPENDICES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING POLICIES:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Chequamegon School District’s Information and Technology Plan is built on the belief that students need to become effective, efficient, and competent users of the information that they access in this ever-expanding world of technological innovation.  To do this, the school curriculum must be infused with current technologies and students must receive instruction that enables them to use it properly to complete tasks and to use it ethically to make determinations of the accuracy and relevance of the information they find.  This plan focuses on these priorities.  

Section 1 of this document describes the research, vision, and mission that is the basis for our philosophy.  Section 2 describes our district and the planning team and gives background on the teams work and process of development of the plan.  In Section 3, our district’s current status is examined and district needs are outlined.  The tables in Section 4 outline our proposed future goals along with other relevant information such as action steps to complete the goals, those responsible for carrying out the action steps, timelines and budget considerations.  This is followed by a detailed budget that supports the plan goals and action steps.  Sections 5 and 6 describe our plans for communication of our plan and progress toward goals with stakeholders, as well as steps that will be taken to monitor, evaluate, and make changes to the plan as needed.   Finally, the district policies that support and guide the plan are attached.  

1. INTRODUCTION - Research

The Chequamegon School District’s Information and Technology vision is that we will prepare our students for living, learning and working in a global and economically competitive community.  Our vision parallels ISTE’s “Essential Conditions” to effectively leverage technology for learning, which include a shared educational vision, implementation planning, consistent and adequate funding, equitable access, skilled personnel, ongoing professional learning, technical support, curriculum standards framework, student-centered learning, assessment and evaluation, engaged communities, support policies, and support initiatives at the national, regional, and local levels.  (ISTE)

All students must experience a quality standards-based education to develop the information, media, and technology skills they need to succeed in work and life in the 21st century as defined by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.  Students must be able to communicate effectively, analyze and interpret data, understand computational modeling, manage and prioritize tasks, engage in problem solving, and ensure security and safety. (“Critical Issue: Using Technology to Improve Student Achievement.”) For education to benefit all students, individual needs and abilities must be addressed through "purposeful instructional design and technology to support all learners." (Basham, Israel, Graden, Poth, and Winston p 244)

Instructional staff must be provided with access to relevant technology and training in order to    develop the skills necessary for them to enhance student learning in an effective and efficient way.  This will also enhance their own personal and professional growth, giving them additional skills upon which they can build.  

Researchers found that professional development in instructional technology was associated with higher-quality lesson plans and higher student achievement. (Martin, Strother, Begalu, Bates, Reitzes, and Culp) 53-74)

In Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the Metiri Group identifies three important roles technology plays in education: “First and foremost, it is a learning tool for more student-centric, relevant, and rigorous learning.  Second, it serves as a data tool for education to better understand and inform educational and instructional decision making.  Third, it is an enabling force behind globalization, knowledge work, and entrepreneurship, and thus students must understand the role it plays in transforming political, social, cultural, civic, and economic systems around the world.”

It is necessary for all staff and students to have access to the learning tools and information resources which will allow them to search, evaluate, analyze, manage, manipulate, communicate and construct information and knowledge in the teaching and learning environment. “An institution must commit to a vision of digital learning and must have a sufficient technological infrastructure and the professional development and processes to support the use of digital content.” [CEO Forum, p. 15]

A robust library media program is critical in supporting this access.  More than 60 studies, including the 2006 Wisconsin study, Student Learning Through Wisconsin School Libraries, have shown that schools with strong school library programs and full-time qualified professional and adequate support staff "exhibited a greater impact on student academic performance" on the WKCE reading and language arts assessments--3.4% and 3.2%, respectively, at the elementary level, 9.2% in middle/junior high school reading performance, and 7.9% and 19%, respectively, at the high school level. ("Student Learning Through Wisconsin School Libraries: Executive Summary")  

The Board of Education, through the district’s administrative staff, will provide necessary policies and procedures to ensure the effective use of technology and media resources by staff and students.  Funding for educational technology and other media resources is also budgeted through the administrative offices through district funds or alternative funding sources, such as grant opportunities.  [CEO Forum, p. 13]

Bibliography

2006 School Library Media Study. (n.d.). Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Home Page. Retrieved November 29, 2010, from http://www.dpi.wi.gov/imt/lmsstudy.html>

Basham, James D., Maya Israel, Janet Graden, Rita Poth, and Markay Winston. “A Comprehensive Approach to RTI: Embedding Universal Design for Learning and Technology.” Learning Disability Quarterly. 33.4(2010): 243-255. Print.

Cauthen, Leilani, and John Halpin. "Classroom Technologies." Center for Digital Education's Converge Special Report 1.2 (2010): 27. Print. www.dell.com/downloads/global/casestudies/Classroom_technologies_report.pdf

CEO Forum on Education and Technology. (2001, June). School technology and readiness report: Key building blocks for student achievement in the 21st century: Integrating digital content. <http://www.ceoforum.org/downloads/report4.pdf.>.

“Critical Issue: Using Technology to Improve Student Achievement.” (2005). (Web.11 Dec. 2010. http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/technlgy/te800.htm.

Lemke, Cheryl, Ed Coughlin, and Daren Reifsneider. "Technology in Schools: What the Research Says." Cisco Systems, Inc. Metiri Group , n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2010.  <http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/docs/education/TechnologyinSchoolsReport.pdf>.

Loertscher, David. "Curriculum, the Library/Learning Commons, and Teacher-librarians: Myths and Realities in the Second Decade." Teacher Librarian 37.3 (2010): 8-13. Professional Development Collection. EBSCO. Web. 12 Dec. 2010.

Martin, Wendy, Scott Stother, Monica Begalu, Lauren Bates, Timothy Reitzes, and Culp, Katherine McMillan.  “Connecting Instructional Technology Professional Development to Teacher and Student Outcomes.” Journal of Research on Technology in Education. 43.1 (2010): 53-74. Print.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Framework for 21st Century Learning. (2005). Rep. Print.

District Information and Technology Vision Statement

Technology will improve student performance and enhance the teaching and learning process.  Our vision of the student of tomorrow is one who is a motivated learner with high self-esteem, skills, and confidence that are required for success in today’s and future workplace environments.  Students will learn the skills to enable them to become active, responsible, and independent learners.  To achieve this,
 the Chequamegon School District is committed to providing, to the extent that resources allow, a robust information and technology program that prepares students to meet the demands of our increasingly technological society.  The classroom of the future needs to reflect these demands with students engaging in cooperative, project-based problem-solving activities that integrate up-to-date technologies.  This allows instructional staff to be become facilitators of learning and skill development as they move from lecture-based instruction and fact-finding projects to methods requiring higher-level thinking skills.  These skills include information literacy, problem solving, critical thinking, and decision-making.   We must equip our students with the 21st century skills necessary for them to compete in the society and workplace of the future.  It is the vision of the Chequamegon School District to effectively integrate information and technology skills to facilitate learning in order to carry out these purposes:

District Information and Technology Mission Statement

The
Chequamegon School District believes that all students are capable of learning.  In addition, we believe that information inquiry and technology use enhance the learning experience and encourage student academic achievement.   We will implement and integrate technology skills and use to facilitate life-long learning so that students have the knowledge and skills to be productive members of our global society.

2.  BACKGROUND

Community and School Demographics

Chequamegon School District is a newly consolidated school effective July 1, 2009 combining the Glidden School District and the Park Falls School District.  The District includes land in Price, Ashland, Iron and Sawyer counties.        

The Chequamegon School District is an economically disadvantaged rural PK-12 district in northern Wisconsin, which has seen a declining population and increasing property values.  Approximately 815 students are enrolled in this school district with 51% of these students on free and reduced lunch.

The Chequamegon School District is the second largest district in Wisconsin geographically with 740.64 square miles – over 460,000 acres.  It is split geographically with the Butternut School District (231.21 sq. miles) located in the middle of the Chequamegon School District.  Nearly 353,000 acres of the Chequamegon District are national, state, and county forest as well as Managed Forest Law Program lands.  The remaining 107,000 taxable acres contain roads, lakes, rivers, and streams.  Seventy-seven percent of the school district is property tax exempt or discounted Managed Forest Lands and agricultural properties.  Twenty-three percent is taxable, however, this includes roads, lakes, rivers, and streams that are not taxable.

The Chequamegon School District includes the townships of Sherman, Park Falls, Eisenstein, Fifield, Lake, Gordon, Jacobs, Peeksville, Shanagolden and Spider Lake.  The area economy centers around the logging and forest products industries with many self-employed loggers.  During this recent economic downturn, the major employer, Black Bear Lumber Industries in Glidden has ceased to operate.  The other employment opportunities in Glidden include a wreath factory, The Great-Divide Ranger District and local retail businesses.

The Park Falls area has also been affected by the current poor economy. Flambeau Papers, that had been shut down, reopened three years ago and is looking to create additional employment opportunities with the addition of a new bio-fuels plant.  This, however, is still in the planning stage until financial resources are secured.  Other industries in the Park Falls area include WeatherShield, Inc., Park Falls Hardwoods, The U.S. Forest Service-Park Falls District, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Office and numerous retail stores.  The Park Falls area has a quality healthcare system that includes the Flambeau Hospital, the Marshfield Clinic, Park Manor Nursing Home, the Marshfield Clinic Park Falls Dental Center, several private dentists and home health care agencies.  The Chequamegon School District lies within the Chequamegon National Forest.  The Glidden and Park Falls communities, which make up this school district are dependent on tourism to stimulate the economy through snowmobiling and ATV riding as well as fishing, hunting and the enjoyment of all of the natural resources that exist in this area.

Members of the Chequamegon School District are actively working to create community partnerships.  We encourage students to enrich their educational experiences by using the Park Falls Public Library, which primarily serves Park Falls and southern Ashland County.  We are currently partnering with Northcentral Technical College and are creating an educational relationship with Flambeau Papers, Inc.

Information and Technology Team

The following group of individuals make up the Chequamegon District’s Information and Technology Team. This group meets once a month through the ITV labs at the Park Falls and Glidden Campuses in order to make the meeting easy to attend for all members.

Tim Kief, Elementary Principal

Rosemarie Schmidt, First Grade Teacher

Ginny Luoma, Fourth Grade Teacher

Cathy Busby, Third Grade Teacher

Millie Fahrbach, Library Media Specialist

Jane Strand, Support Staff

Diana Rein, Glidden Campus Principal

Kacey Kempf, Learning Technology Teacher

Michelle Hanson, Second Grade Teacher

Sharlene Gelina, Middle School Teacher

Debbie Higgins, Middle School Librarian

Sue Houkom, Library Media Specialist

Barbara Kempf, Business and Information Technology Teacher

Adam Balz, H.S. English

Steve Shackleton, High School SPED

Mike Garvin, Network Administrator

Lexi Witt, District Financial Manager

David Anderson, District Superintendent

Tia Berenger-Kropf, Department of Natural Resources

Ed Busby, Community Member and Former District Technician

Mark Luoma, Community Member and Former District Administrator

Technology Plan Writing Committee

Diana Rein, Glidden Campus Principal

Sue Houkom, District Library Media Specialist

Millie Fahrbach, Elementary Librarian

Debbie Higgins, Glidden Campus Library Assistant

Cathy Busby, Former Elementary LMS and Third Grade Teacher

Barbara Kempf, Business and Information Technology Teacher

Mike Garvin, Network Administrator

Lexi Witt, District Financial Manager

Overview of the Planning Process

The planning process began prior to the official start of the Chequamegon School District.  Both the Glidden School and Park Falls School Districts’ Technology Committees met in the spring prior to the official start of the Chequamegon School District in July 2009 to determine what technology needs and infrastructure was necessary to combine the two districts and to combine policies that are required for a new Information and Technology Plan.  In addition, the two districts’ technicians collaborated to determine infrastructure needs, which included connectivity issues such as servers, telephone systems and VPN between the remote buildings.

The new Chequamegon School Board was informed that a new Information and Technology Plan would need to be completed for the school district.  As a result, a writing team was formed that was representative of the former Glidden and Park Falls School Districts elementary, middle and high schools and library media personnel.  This group attended the Gitchee Gumee Academy in the summer of 2010 to start the process of combining the two districts’ technology plans and created a new technology plan for the Chequamegon School District.  

In the first year of the Chequamegon School District, the Chequamegon School Board adopted new policies for the District, which included those required by the Information and Technology Plan.  The team prepared a draft and then presented it to the entire technology committee for input with school board approval in March 2011.

Community Resources, Adult Literacy Providers And Adult Literacy Opportunities For Community Members

The Park Falls Municipal Library provides Adult Literacy opportunities for the community such as book clubs and a variety of enrichment activities.  The Chequamegon School District has available for adult literacy an ITV Lab, which can be scheduled by community members to take continuing education courses that are offered by technical colleges and universities.  A Polycom unit provided to the Park Falls Campus by the Northcentral Technical College is available specifically for courses and programming through Northcentral Technical College.  Two additional Polycom units (one located on the Glidden Campus and another on the Park Falls Campus) can be used for adult literacy opportunities upon request.  Adult Literacy classes are occasionally offered through Gogebic Community College, Northcentral Technical College, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.

The Chequamegon School District collaborates with the Park Falls Public Library by advertising their program offerings and by providing a link on our webpage to the MORE Park Falls Public Library on-line catalog, so that individuals may do searches and requests for library resources.

3.  CURRENT STATUS AND NEEDS ASSESSMENT

Assessment of Progress toward Previous Plan’s Goals

Since the current Chequamegon School District (CSD) Combined Information and Technology Plan was written prior to the consolidation of the Glidden and Park Falls Districts, many of our objectives, with their associated strategies, were based on how we envisioned the new district to look and work.  As the vision became reality, many of the strategies that we thought we’d use to reach these objectives changed.  Therefore, much of our assessment of progress will reflect a district in transition; and while we have accomplished our goals and many of our objectives, the way we did so is different than what we included in our plan written just two short years ago.  

Numbered below are the District’s previous plan’s goals and objectives.  The bulleted, italicized, bolded entries underneath each item indicate the progress made toward reaching that objective.  Goals 1-7 are formatted as a list and Goal 8 is outlined in a table because that is the way they appeared in the consolidation document the district submitted for its Chequamegon Information and Technology Plan.

Goal 1: Forward Thinking and Shared Vision (2009-2011)

3.1.1.a.  The teaching staffs of both schools have been actively involved in their Districts’

Information/Technology (IT) plans. It is recommended that the teaching staffs and other

stake holders of both school meet to discuss curricular and IT goals and strategies and

how they will be united and/or created to meet the needs of a 21st Century student.

3.1.1.b.  Glidden has a Youth Options virtual learning program. Park Falls utilizes the Plato

software purchased through Cheqtel. Youth Options will continue in the Chequamegon

District.

3.1.1.c.  Glidden utilizes eClass, MacSchool, and Gaggle-Net student e-mail accounts. Park Falls

uses Infinite Campus and Skyward lunch count software. Infinite Campus and Skyward

lunch count software will be utilized by the Chequamegon School District.

3.1.1.d  Glidden has a Family Resource Center, before and after school tutoring and extended

library hours. Park Falls has two days a week for Study Buddies and Lighted School

House on Mondays.

3.1.1.e.  Glidden has a virtual education program in collaboration with the Wisconsin Indianhead

Technical College accessed by Youth Options classes. Youth Options is also utilized by Park Falls via packets.  The Chequamegon School District will utilize the Youth Options program but its implementation has yet to be determined.

Goal 2: Effective Teaching and Learning Practices (2009-2011)

3.1.2.a.  Glidden has utilized Link4Learning as a tool to map their curriculum. Park Falls has

come on board this year. With the creation of a new curriculum the Link4Learning tool

will be continued to assist in mapping the new District’s curriculum. Both schools are

now involved with the Educationally United Regional Objectives (EURO) project

through CESA 12.

3.1.2.b.  Glidden has reading training in CRISS Strategies, Words Their Way, Reader’s Theater,

and Step Write-Up. Park Falls has writing training with Sarah Heizler in the “Writing

Across the Curriculum” program.

3.1.2.c.  Both Park Falls and Glidden have teachers trained in iSafe Internet safety program.

Other teachers in the Chequamegon School District will be encouraged to be trained and

utilize the iSafe program in their classrooms.

3.1.2.d.  Glidden Charter School teachers had planning and implementation training for project-based

learning. The Curriculum Committee, part of the consolidation effort, has

recommended that project-based learning be utilized as much as possible in the new

district.

3.1.2.e.  Glidden Elementary switched to new “Wisconsin Standards-based report cards.”

3.1.2.f  Glidden had training in whole-school portfolio development to document student

proficiency in the standards.

3.1.2.g.  Glidden and Park Falls both use CESA 12’s Information Literacy online course for

Middle School and High School, Glidden through their Regional Community School

Alliance (RCSA) charter school, and Park Falls through classroom curriculum. Both

follow a library skills program and encourage collaboration with teachers.

3.1.2.h.  Both schools collect lessons and student work as evidence of 8th grade student IT

proficiency. This practice will continue in the Chequamegon District until a more

effective method is implemented.

Goal 3: Improved Educator Proficiency (2009-2011)

3.1.3.a.  Glidden collaborates with the UWSuperior’s Improving Teachers Quality Program

through a Title II Grant. We’re not sure what impact the new configuration of the

District will have on this grant.

3.1.3.b.  Both Glidden and Park Falls School Districts support new teacher licensure requirements.

This will continue in the consolidated District through CESA 12 services for PDPs.

3.1.3.c.  A survey of teachers IT skills and needs has been utilized by both Glidden and Park Falls.

This will be an ongoing process for the Chequamegon District.

3.1.3.d.   CESA 12 provided training for some staff in Glidden on using the ITV Distance Learning Lab,

Moodle, and GaggleNet student e-mail accounts. Some staff members in Park Falls have

been trained in Moodle.  Glidden uses EDUSS. The training of Park Falls staff members

in EDUSS was aborted due to technical problems. EDUSS effectiveness, when done

using a fully functioning PC lab instead of thin clients, will be evaluated during the

second half of the current school year and decisions made based upon that evaluation.

Goal 4: Digital Age Equity (2009-2011)

3.1.4.a.  Glidden has the Class ACT Charter School with online student portfolios. Glidden

District staff learned Illuminate, Web 2.0, and Moodle to facilitate the creation of student

portfolios. Student portfolios are being considered for Middle/High School students in the

new district.

Goal 5: Robust Access (2009-2011)

3.1.5.a.  Glidden charter school students and teachers have iPods and laptops.

3.1.5.b.  Glidden received an Improving Literacy through Libraries grant. Both schools have

engaged the CESA #6 grant writing specialist. The new district will actively encourage

families who qualify for free and reduced lunch status to identify themselves so the

District can qualify for grants that are based on these numbers.

3.1.5.c.  Glidden utilizes a distance-learning lab. Park Falls is pursuing the implementation of a

lab when funds are available.

3.1.5.d.   Glidden uses School Center Software for its district’s webpage. Park Falls utilizes

Microsoft SharePoint freeware. With the consolidation, a webpage will be designed and

maintained using software yet to be determined.

3.1.5.e.  There are three persons currently involved with technology support for the two districts;

Mike Garvin and Ed Busby through Cheqtel for Park Falls, and Chris Plansky for

Glidden through CESA #12. No support cutbacks are anticipated, and in fact, it is

planned that additional support may be needed as the new district gets organized.

3.1.5.f.  Glidden developed a plan for the Just-in-Time technical support system for staff-to-staff

help, which may be expanded in the new district.

Goal 6: Systems and Leadership (2009-2011)

3.1.6.a.  Our schools’ district administrators are uniquely suited to facilitate this consolidation

with both having long-term relationships with the two schools. Mr. Luoma was the longtime

business education teacher and technology support person for Glidden and then its

administrator for three years. Mr. Kief was guidance counselor in the Park Falls High

School and initiated the implementation of Infinite Campus there. Mr. Kief is now the

district administrator for the Glidden School District.

3.1.6.b.  CESA #12 provided Title IID grant activities for Glidden, supported by the Glidden

administration.

Goal 7: Library Media Services (2009-2011)

3.1.7.a.  A comparison of Glidden and Park Falls library policies will occur to create consolidated

policies. The library holdings of the different libraries will have to be adjusted to reflect

the new locations of the different grades; for example, the Middle School, encompassing

grades 6-8, will be in Glidden and the High School will be located in Park Falls, so the

appropriate materials will need to be relocated to those places. Currently there is no web

presence for the Glidden library. The Middle School holdings will need to be web-based

next year to match access in the other two district libraries. We will be adding another

license to our current two licenses for the Alexandria library management system which will allow all three libraries to maintain separate collections that can operate on the

network simultaneously.

Goal 8: Effective Technology Consolidation (2009-2011) See attached Action Plan Table.

The 22 points identified and associated with Goal 8 are included in the following table.

Analysis of Student Proficiency

Students in the district demonstrate understanding of ITLS skills and ability to use technology as tools to improve learning by the following:

In the fall of 2010, all 8th grade students participated in the Next Generation Assessments’ (NGA) School Perceptions state-sponsored pretest on information and technology literacy.  This exam is also based on the ISTE NETS.  71.43% of the students performed at the proficient or advanced levels.  There will be a post-test in the spring of 2011.  The district administers this test because it belongs to the consortium of CESA #12 schools participating in the EETT/ARRA grants.


Underserved and Special Needs Populations

Analysis of Educator Proficiency

Both Glidden and Park Falls School Districts used enGauge in the past to measure staff and student proficiency in the use of information and technology.  However, the new Chequamegon School District (CSD) did not continue with enGauge, so we do not have consistent history of technology proficiency data with which to compare current results.

The District gathered data on staff proficiency with a test.  In 2009-2010, instructional staff members took the Simple Assessment that the 8th graders take.  In analyzing the results using the NETS For Students, data indicates that 76.5% of the staff are proficient in Standard 1 – Creativity and Innovation; 64.5% are proficient in Standard 2 – Communication and Collaboration; 72.8% are proficient in Standard 3 - Research and Information Fluency; 68.6% are proficient in Standard 4 – Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision-Making; 89.8% are proficient in Standard  5 – Digital Citizenship; and 77.1% are proficient in Standard 6 – Technology Operations and Concepts.  The in-service committee used these results to plan staff development activities in the spring of 2010.  

In addition, the technology committee surveyed the staff a couple of times.  In the spring of 2009, they asked instructional staff members at all the Glidden and Park Falls schools to determine the technology needs they envisioned for their classrooms in the new Chequamegon District.  The committee used these results to determine how the Rural Schools/Low Income Grant, Microsoft, and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds would be disbursed.  

During the first year of consolidation, 2009-2010, all staff members at both campuses were polled to identify technical issues, which were abundant.  They gave the results to the District Administrator and 3 part-time computer technicians.  With only .325 FTE of technical support, many of these issues persisted throughout the year.  The administrative team used this information to justify hiring a full-time Network Administrator starting June 2010.

With the availability of funds for equipment, each instructional staff member who did not already have a laptop was provided with either a new desktop or new or refurbished laptop computer.  In many cases, this replaced an aging thin client on the teacher’s desk.  One of the goals of this distribution was to encourage staff members to incorporate online technology tools into their day-to-day curricula.  

In conjunction with this capability, the District is embracing new cloud technologies for file creation, maintenance and sharing.  It is encouraging staff members to attend twice-a-month 20-minute technology “Nibble Sessions” taught by volunteer staff experts on a variety of topics requested by teachers, library staff, support staff, the administrative team, and Network Administrator.

Each year, at least one of the contracted in-service times is reserved for staff training on information and technology skills knowledge and implementation.  In the spring of 2010, this consisted of a full day in which expert staff members provided hands-on training for those skills on which the technology test showed our staff was deficient.  An Apple trainer also taught 16 staff members how to create podcasts.

Chequamegon teachers are encouraged to seek help and direction with their use of technology through a variety of sources.  Informal collaboration among teachers allows those with knowledge to help less proficient users.  This can be seen throughout the building with more technology savvy staff members mentoring those with less skill.  The LMC staff people district-wide are available to help troubleshoot problems and provide education to other staff when needed.  On the Glidden campus, the Technology Skills teacher functions in this way, as well.  The LMC personnel also keep staff updated on new resources on a regular basis.   The Network Administrator oversees the district technology resources ensuring that the overall system is in good condition.  

The administrative team encourages instructional staff members to attend continuing education opportunities provided by CESA #12 and elsewhere.  Registrations for some of these workshops or trainings are funded by the district.

Administrative use of technology continues to evolve.   Teachers currently use Infinite Campus to record and track student grades.  At the administrative level student schedules, grades and attendance are also recorded using Infinite Campus.  Accounting, bookkeeping, and lunch accounts are facilitated by use of the Skyward School Administration Software.  Parents may deposit money into an online account to pay for their children’s meals through e-Funds for Schools.  Email communication between and among administration, office staff, and teaching staff occurs daily with all staff members using a hosted online Outlook account.  

All students and staff members have a school-created, educational live.com account, which not only provides them access to e-mail, but also to their own Sky Drive where they may create and store files using Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  The library media specialist demonstrated to all high school students how to access and use this account.  On the Glidden campus, with rebuilding server functions after a crash that occurred in the spring of 2010, the Network Administrator created cloud Dropbox accounts for all students and staff, who have been trained how to use them.

Several staff members have been trained on use of iSafe program and its implications for teaching students about Internet safety.  Currently, the technology committee has formed a subcommittee to explore where Internet safety is currently being taught in the district and recommend to the Board whether we should formalize this into a curriculum, or adopt iSafe or some other program.  Once this decision is made, it needs to be disseminated to staff and students.  

Analysis of Effective Teaching and Learning Practices

Chequamegon School District has been involved in a wide variety of initiatives to improve teaching and learning.  These include:

Some of these initiatives and other evidence in this area are further expanded below:

Some teachers have participated in curriculum mapping work sessions using Link 4 Learning online tool prior to consolidation.  Consolidation of the Glidden and Park Falls Districts have allowed for further work on the district curriculum.  The new Chequamegon District has been involved in the EURO process directed by CESA 12 which is working toward the development of common learning objectives that allow neighboring district to develop curricula based on the standards and consistent with other districts. This process assures that content and instruction are aligned with state standards and provides teachers with guidance when planning.  It also allows teachers to develop a clear vision for instructional goals and better implement their curriculum. With the recent adoption of the Wisconsin Common Core Standards, the Chequamegon District will continue to be involved in the EURO initiative to align the curriculum to these new standards.   The process includes attention to the Information and Technology Literacy standards to insure that the curriculum includes activities and objectives that help students become proficient in those standards.

WKCE scores indicate that students are achieving.   The recent consolidation of the Park Falls and Glidden School Districts allowed for a complete assessment of curricular offerings within the new district.  This assessment included a survey of teacher needs and wants related to their use of technology in teaching.  The consolidation has also allowed for the hiring of a full-time technology/network specialist who serves as a resource to teachers in learning how to use new technology as it becomes available.  

The addition of learning options through the Class ACT Charter School provides an avenue for teachers to deliver instruction in a flexible environment using a project-based format and incorporating new and interesting technologies.   The Class ACT Charter School is an instructional model of the future based on the development of 21st century skills that prepares students to be competitive and contributing members of our fast changing world.  The Class ACT Charter School opened in September 2007.  The school is open to all high school students who learn best through project-based learning, are self-disciplined, and desire to learn more about our global economy and the skills necessary to compete in the 21st century.  The acronym ACT of the Class ACT Charter School is explained as, A stands for applied skills, C stands for career-focused, and T stands for technology-enhanced.  Working with the charter school staff, students develop a personalized learning plan that will prepare them for a successful post-secondary transition.  This plan will be based on using their individual learning styles and personal strengths.  Course work to satisfy the plan may include online classes, distance-learning classes, and local classes taught by Chequamegon teachers.  The school’s mission is to empower students to become independent learners in a technology-enhanced, self-directed, interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizing teamwork and self-determination.  The Class ACT Charter School will ensure that students become globally aware and able to effectively use information and communication technology to prepare for a career and meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Analysis of Access to Information Resources and Learning Tools

There are three libraries in the Chequamegon School District.  One is located in the Park Falls Elementary School, another serves the elementary and middle schools on the Glidden campus, and the third resides at the Chequamegon High School on the Park Falls campus.  At all levels, information and technology standards are embedded within the daily instruction of courses at all levels, with collaboration available from the library media staff at both campuses.

Computer Labs

There are 2 computers labs available for class use. One is a thin client PC-platform lab (30 computers) that teachers schedule usage time according to their needs.  Attached to the Library itself is a Mac platform based lab with 20 eMacs.  The LMC lab is utilized on a fixed-schedule basis with each class scheduled for one hour each week.  During this time, technology and applied skills are integrated according to curriculum needs through collaboration with teachers.  Remaining lab time is used by classes for special needs such as Accelerated Reader testing.  Four desktop flat screen iMacs are available for individual student use at any time throughout the day. One iMac is dedicated for individual staff use.  A mobile lab with 19 laptops is housed in the high school library and available when needed for those applications (eg. Podcasting) that require newer installed software.

A mobile Smart board is available for use in the library as well checked out to teachers for use in their classrooms. The thin client lab has a stationary Smart board for instructional purposes. The Special Ed department also has a wall-mounted smart board.

The Glidden Elementary School classes have fixed scheduled computer time weekly in the LMC lab.  They also have several computers in their classrooms for student use as well as an eighteen-unit mobile computer lab available for classroom use.

1 mounted and 1 mobile Smart board are available in the elementary school.

At the Chequamegon Middle School, students have access to one 24-unit Mac computer lab in the LMC, one 22-unit iMac lab in the technology room, and the 18-unit Mac Book mobile lab. We use a curriculum-based schedule. Several classrooms have mini-labs where 3-4 students can work. 

Our technology lab has a mounted Smart board and two mobile Smart boards for the middle school rooms. The 2 special education rooms each have one mounted Smart board.

The Class Act Charter School provides one-to-one computing by issuing Mac Books to its  students.

Glidden Campus Schools have access to a mobile poly-com unit. 

The high school contains multiple computer labs consisting of both Mac and PC platforms.  There is a 19-piece mobile Mac cart that services the entire campus, but is housed in the high school library.  The library also contains another cart with 8 new Dell laptops configured with Windows 7 operating system and the Office 2010 productivity suite.  In addition, this cart holds 16 older laptops, which are imaged so they can easily be checked out to students who may need laptops to do school projects at home.  Housed near and in the library are 5 labs consisting of 61 thin clients and 8 PC desktop machines.   These are located in separate areas to allow for use by multiple classes at the same time. 

The business lab contains 22 PC laptops.  In addition, several classrooms have mini-labs where 4-5 students may work at a time. 

There is a mounted Smart board in one of the thin-client labs, and 1 mobile Smart board housed in the library.  In addition, there are mounted Smart boards in the business education and three special education classrooms.  Currently, the high school has access to 10 iPads and 6 iPod Touch devices. 

A distance-learning lab serves the Park Falls campus and is centrally located between the elementary and high school ends of the building.  There are also 2 mobile polycom units, which can be wheeled into classrooms for participating in virtual field trips.

Scheduling

Each section of every grade level (4YK-5) is scheduled for specific library time (1 hour) weekly.  During this time classes are offered a read-aloud experience, information and technology skills applications, and circulation (check-in/out) of library materials.  The library facilities are open continuously throughout the regular school day (7:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m.)  

The library is also utilized for the district's before- and after-school program from 6:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

In the elementary school, the LMC utilizes a fixed schedule which involves 4YK-3rd grade. At the 4YK and kindergarten levels students are scheduled for 1 hour read-aloud story time, information and technology standards skills application and circulation of library materials.

For the Chequamegon Middle School and Class Act Charter School the library schedule is flexible so classes may use the resources as curriculum dictates. The 6th grade English classes are scheduled in for book talks, information and technology standards skills application and circulation of library materials.

The library facilities are open continuously throughout the regular school day (7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.)

The library is also utilized for the district's before- and after-school program from at 6:00 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

A computer and library sign-up schedule is located in the LMC.  The high school library schedule is flexible so classes may use the resources as curriculum dictates.  Officially, the high school library is open from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. However, in reality, it is open as long as the media specialist is there to supervise, which on most days is 5:30 p.m. 

    

Program Offerings

The media specialist introduces students to quality children’s literature through regular story time, teaches computer skills during scheduled lab time, collaborates with teachers to provide print and digital resources that support their lessons, provides in-service on technology and information tools and processes, and assists with tech support.  She also performs library management duties which include materials selection and processing, administering and maintaining the Alexandria Library Automation System, and daily routine student supervision, and support for classroom projects and lessons.  

The library staff personnel introduces students to quality children’s literature through regular story time and book talks, supervises computer lab time, meets with teachers to provide  print and digital materials that support their lessons, provides in-service on technology and information tools and processes, and helps with tech support.  She also performs library management duties, which include material selection in cooperation with the high school library media specialist, processing purchased items, and administering the campus Alexandria Library Automation System.  Also, she supervises students and provides support for classroom projects and lessons. 

The library media specialist collaborates with teachers and staff to provide print and digital materials that support their lessons, supervises and assists students with information inquiry and literacy, teaches library management skills to work study students, provides in-service on technology and information tools and processes, and helps with tech support. 

Analysis of Support Systems and Leadership  

Staffing 

One librarian who possesses a Wisconsin 900 (librarian) and 905 (audio-visual coordinator) license provides information and administrative services for all 4YK-5th grade level students and staff.

One library assistant provides services with support given by the high school library media specialist.

One library media specialist, who possesses a Wisconsin 902 (library media specialist) license, provides information and administrative services for all high school students and staff, while offering support to the library media program and at the middle school.  Currently, one very dedicated volunteer works 6 hours/week shelving and covering books.  In addition, a number of capable work-study students perform routine tasks and help out at the circulation desk.

In the first year of consolidation, three part-time computer technicians provided .325 FTE on-site computer support, and one was on call to troubleshoot network issues from a remote location when needed. This did not provide adequate staffing for technology integration, so in June 2010, the district hired a full-time Network Administrator to oversee and manage the computer network and services, provide expertise about technology innovations, and furnish support to the educational goals of the teaching staff and administration, as outlined in this plan.  

Analysis of Resources/Fixed Assets

At the writing of this plan, the Chequamegon School District, which is made up of the former Glidden and Park Falls School Districts, is in its second year of existence.  

Both Park Falls and Glidden had aligned their curricula to the Wisconsin Information and Technology Literacy Standards (ITLS.)  The new Chequamegon District is in the process of doing this by participating in the EURO (Educationally United Regional Objectives) process.  Through this program, we are working cooperatively with other CESA #12 districts to write benchmarks and align curricula to the Wisconsin content standards, including the recently adopted Common Core standards for English language arts and mathematics.   We are currently in the second year of a three-year process in the information and technology standards area. 

In the former districts, the Glidden library served a K-12 student population.  In Park Falls, the library collections from the high school and middle school were combined and housed in one place.  When the Chequamegon District was created and the middle school moved to the former Glidden campus, the middle school books from Park Falls needed to move to Glidden.  Conversely, since all the high school students in the new district were now attending the Park Falls campus, most of the high school level books in Glidden needed to move to Park Falls.  

This is an ongoing process, requiring that we first identify which books should move, then export them from one collection and import them into the other, and finally physically pack them up to ship to the new location, where they need to be shelved.  Since staff time is at a premium, only the fiction collection, the 200s, and some of the 500s and 900s of the Dewey classification system have been integrated into their new home.  Therefore, the collection analysis provided below may not be a true reflection of the resources that are available to staff and students at the middle school and high school.

Instructional Information and Technology Resources

The library media center (LMC) provides for the informational needs of both staff and students.  In doing so, both print and non-print resources are provided.  Print resources include elementary picture books (fiction), easy reader fiction and nonfiction (level specific books for beginning readers), fiction (chapter books) books, nonfiction (grades 3-6) books, reference books, periodicals and newspapers. The collection includes VHS and DVD videos (fiction and nonfiction) for instruction.  Resources provided for staff include professional periodicals and books, educational games and kits, and various pieces of audio-visual equipment. Digital resources are provided through subscription software and free online websites.  An Accelerated Reader software subscription supports the reading curriculum.  Bookflix and Rainforest Math subscriptions reinforce skills in reading and math respectively.

Several district database resources are available including BadgerLink and Grolier Online.  An extensive list of links to online educational resources is available via the Library Resources page accessed from the Park Falls Elementary School homepage on the district’s website. Educational CD-ROMs are available for skills reinforcement by individual students.   For further details, please see the appendix referencing library collection mapping.

The library media center contains the following elementary materials: picture books, board books, easy reader books, big books, fiction, non-fiction, reference books, books on tape, videos/DVDs and periodicals.  Software programs purchased for elementary include Jumpstart PreK-2 and Oregon Trail.

The items provided for middle and charter school students are as follows: fiction, non-fiction, reference books, books on tape, videos/DVDs, periodicals and equipment.  We also provide resources for the professional staff.  The Badgerlink portal allows access to a variety of online resources, including several EBSCO databases, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Soundzabound.  The library has purchased 3 encyclopedias through Grolier Online which can be used district-wide.  The middle school has also purchased a subscription to BrainPOP, a site that provides animated, curriculum-based lessons in the core subject areas plus arts and music, health, and engineering and tech for middle level students. Staff members are encouraged to use free online sources for streaming media, including the Educational Communications Board’s ECB VideoLink on Badgerlink.  For a detailed analysis please see the appendix referencing library collection mapping.

 

The high school library contains non-fiction, fiction, reference, video/DVD, magazine, and newspaper materials to support the curriculum as necessary to meet the needs of staff and students, and to promote the love of reading and life-long learning.   The Badgerlink portal provides access to a variety of online resources, including several EBSCO databases, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Soundzabound.  The library subscribes to 3 encyclopedias through Grolier Online which can be used district-wide.  Furthermore, students have access to two Facts on File databases; Issues and Controversies, and Today's Science.  Finally, the library purchases a yearly subscription to Electric Library which provides access to quality magazine and newspaper articles, books, TV and radio transcripts, and maps.  The 2010 Office productivity software is available on all library machines.  Vernier's Graphical Analysis, Geometer's Sketchpad, and Inspiration/Kidspiration are loaded on all servers.  However, very little other software is purchased.  Staff members and students are encouraged to use free online sources for streaming media and a variety of cloud programs and applications.  Please see the appendix on collection mapping for further details.

Following are summaries of the collections at each of the three district libraries.

Existing:

The Chequamegon School District is a recent consolidation of the Park Falls School District and the Glidden School District.  In the former PFSD, the technology was a mix of the PC and Macintosh platforms, with the predominance of PCs.  The former Glidden District was almost exclusively Macintosh with the exception of 2 PC’s.

The network, as it existed in 2009-2010, consisted of a local area network at each campus.  The Glidden campus currently has a single network rack where the Internet enters the building and all building drops emanate for it.  The PF Campus has three network racks.  

Servers

Workstations

Since the consolidation there have been a greater number of Macintosh systems introduced into the Park Falls campus.  This added mix has caused problems with infrastructure compatibility and management.  Several years ago Microsoft Corporation dropped all efforts to maintain a solution for Mac computers to save files to the Windows Server operating system.  As are result it is difficult to create a common location for both Macintosh and PC’s to save files on a 100% reliable location.  Therefore it has been decided to eliminate the platform differences.

The Park Falls campus has approximately 200 thin client terminals attached to the 4 terminal servers.  Most are configured into lab spaces and there is one thin client on each teacher’s desk and all the support staff desks.

Each teacher has a Dell laptop and most special education teachers have a MacBook with only one or two exceptions.

Park Falls campus has 7 labs with fixed equipment and 3 mobile labs.  There is one MacBook mobile lab and 2 Dell mobile labs.  One of the Dell mobile labs is dedicated to the Business Education department and the other Dell mobile lab is checked out from the LMC.  The mobile Mac lab is also checked out via the LMC.

At the Glidden campus each teacher has either a new MacBook laptop or a new all-in-one 20 inch iMac.

There are 3 fixed labs and one mobile Mac lab.  The fixed labs are the Business Education lab of 27 systems, and a fixed lab in the LMC of 24 systems and an Elementary lab of 12 systems.  The mobile Mac lab is checked in and out via the LMC.

Internet and Local Network Structure

The district enjoys a solid high-speed connection to the Internet with a 30MB symmetrical bandwidth.  There is a 20MB symmetrical connection between the Park Falls and Glidden campuses.  Glidden receives all of its data and telecomm services through this one building-to-building connection.

The district currently has a data network domain “csdk12.local” and servers and some workstations are joined to this domain.  As we move forward with our future plans, this network domain and the joined equipment will become less and less relevant and will eventually be discontinued.  New equipment is being introduced into the district and is not being joined to the domain in preparation for devices that are not “domain-aware”.

Needed to Improve Education

The district has set a goal to achieve a 1-1 technology ratio within 4 years and to this end the district is currently purchasing all mobile technology in the form of laptops, notebooks, iPads and iPods. The district will evaluate other competing slate and smart devices and other cloud-based devices when available such as Google Chrome notebooks.  

In the 2010-2011 school year, the district purchased 110 new Dell out-of-box new or reconditioned laptops with full 3 to 4 year warranties.  By purchasing these laptops with Microsoft Windows Home Premium edition, which is not “domain-aware,” the district saved $16,500 on software licenses.  The laptops purchased were out-of-box new or reconditioned and as a result the district was able to save $79,560 over the purchase of an equal number (110) new Apple MacBook laptops.

With these mobile devices it was necessary to install a new ubiquitous wireless network throughout the campus making it possible for mobile devices to remain connected no matter where they are in the building.

The Chequamegon School District has decided to move almost 100% of teacher and student file storage to cloud-based services.  As in interim step we have chosen to use Dropbox.com for file storage with an eventual move to Microsoft Live@edu Skydrive for all staff and students where each user will receive 25GB of file space and a 10GB mailbox. .  Currently the district pays for a hosted email solution but will soon make the switch to the free service saving approximately $3,120 per year.

As a result of this move to cloud-storage the school district is poised to support devices that “live” entirely in the cloud, devices such as iPad, Google Chrome, smart phones etc.

As the new Chequamegon School District moves forward over the next 18 months it is anticipated that the district will be required to make new policy decisions on the use of student-owned hardware and the access and use of social networking sites.  We anticipate these to be hard decisions but ones that are necessary.  At the time of this writing, students are not allowed to use their own equipment with a few exceptions decided on a case-by-case basis.  Cell phones are not allowed in school at this time and all social networking sites are currently blocked.

A new filtering policy has been implemented that allows for less filtering and more monitoring,  therefore special software was purchased that allows staff members to view student screens no matter where they are located.

What Does It All Look Like?

It is expected that within 2-3 years there will be enough mobile devices to equip most classrooms so that students entering them will each have a device to use for instruction.  These devices will not be domain-aware so students will not sign onto these devices.  This is the nature of these new types of systems.  All student devices must still pass through the web filter so that adult and malicious content is blocked.

Not using domain-aware devices removes a level of device management.  There are pluses and minuses to both scenarios.  With domain-aware devices it is easier to “see” who is logged onto a device.  Device security management is easier, for example restricting printers to specific users.  With devices that are NOT domain-aware, it makes network management easier by not having to maintain accounts and passwords and file storage security.  With all non-domain-aware devices, files will be stored strictly in the cloud eliminating all of the management issues that go along with local file storage.

It is anticipated that in the future students will be able to use their own equipment once it is checked out by the IT department.  The students will be responsible for their own devices and files.

Within 4 years it is anticipated that the district will achieve a 1-1 technology ratio.  At this point the device will be assigned to the student.  The devices will “live” strictly in the cloud where all file storage is located and most applications will be accessed from cloud-service web apps.  This will become the norm; all students will have some sort of device that they use in all class periods.  Their text books will be accessed via this device, their files will be stored in the cloud and all apps will be online.  In this future scenario the district will only have to maintain a high-speed Internet connection, a solid ubiquitous internal wireless network and the hardware devices that each student is using.  Software purchasing will be kept to a minimum as well as most licensing as the district takes advantage of free services for education.

The next section of our plan includes tables that outline the plan goals and objectives along with the implementation action plan.   Following this is the plan budget that supports to goals and action steps of the plan.

        

6.  DISSEMINATION TO STAKEHOLDERS

Information regarding the district’s information technologies that are available to our students and to members of the community will be made available to parents and community members through a variety of methods:

7.  MONITORING, EVALUATION, AND REVISION

Primary responsibility for monitoring the implementation of the Information and Technology Plan will be delegated to the Chequamegon School District Network Administrator, Technology Committee, and Administrative Team.  Data about plan progress will be collected by using available district tools related to technology use and student progress.  Responsible groups will evaluate collected data and report results to the District Administrator who has the authority to monitor and facilitate implementation of the Plan.  Responsible groups will evaluate progress within the Technology Plan and its major components will be evaluated on a continual basis.  This will be facilitated through regular meetings.  Meeting minutes will be kept on file.  At least one meeting each year will be dedicated exclusively to the evaluation and revision process.  Adjustments and revisions to the plan will be made as necessary.  Information about progress will be made available to community stakeholders via the school news section of the local newspaper, the district website, and the district newsletter.  

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