Instructional Technology Plan

The 2018-2021 instructional technology plan was approved by the New York State Education Department.

District technology planning committee

  • John Luthringer, Director of Instructional Technology
  • Kyle Gannon, Superintendent
  • Denise Troelstra, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
  • Jessica Rossetti, Queensbury Elementary School Principal
  • Gwynne Cosh, William H. Barton Intermediate School Principal
  • Michael Brannigan, Queensbury Middle School Principal
  • Damian Switzer, Queensbury High School Principal
  • Ben Grieco, High School Teacher/Lighthouse Teacher
  • Peter Hochsprung, Middle School Teacher/Lighthouse Teacher
  • Alicia Fazio, Intermediate School Media Center Specialist
  • Renee Gordon, Intermediate School Teacher/Lighthouse Teacher
  • Jennifer Heydrick, Elementary School Teacher/Lighthouse Teacher
  • Bernard Capron, District Systems Analyst

Planning process

The district technology plan was developed over a period of six months and utilized members of the district technology committee and each of the district’s four building technology committees. The timeline for this process is listed below.

Timeline

January 2018

Introduce plan process and requirements to district tech committee; review current plan goals; review NYSED tech plan goals

February & March 2018

Building goals discussions at building tech meetings. Each Lighthouse Teacher will lead discussions at his/her building technology meeting to determine what building-level goals should be considered as part of the next district technology plan

March-June 2018

Goal development: Time allotted at each district tech meeting to discuss the new goals, how they align to the NYS tech plan and what action items would comprise each goal

Develop 3-5 goals for inclusion in the plan based on goals developed in each building; develop action plan for each goal; develop evaluation plan for each goal; review ELL and SWD technology use

June 2018

Finalize goals and action plans; develop technology vision statement

Technology mission statement

To empower all learners to be lifelong learners, the Queensbury Union Free School District technology mission will incorporate technology into the educational program to provide the following:

An environment that promotes:

  • Life-Long Learning
  • Student-centered Learning
  • Authentic Learning Experiences
  • Openness to Risk Taking
  • Enhancement of Teaching and Learning
  • Career Preparedness/Adaptability
  • Technological Literacy
  • A Global Learning Community
  • Appropriate Access to Technology

21st Century Learning Skills including:

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Retrieval
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Digital Literacy and Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts

Preface

In 2018, the Queensbury Board of Education adopted three long-term goals for the district that will take us through 2021. Decisions that we make regarding technology over the coming years should be a direct result of how these decisions have an impact on our students, our strategic plan, and specifically these primary student targets:

  • All students will graduate from high school able to meet or exceed state standards for college and career readiness.
  • All students will have the ability to think critically, apply knowledge creatively at high levels, and use technology to assess, evaluate, collaborate, and communicate in pursuit of their dreams.
  • All students will contribute to and connect with the community by being involved in extracurricular or service activities either in or out of school.

The use of technology, the services the district provides, and the support structures that are in place should all be focused on the same common them — how does this help our students meet the targets listed above?

Our previous technology plans have focused on the integration of technology into instruction. To that end, we have been largely successful. However, we now must look at extending that use beyond traditional means. The power of technology to be a ubiquitous tool in the classroom is only starting to have its potential realized. For years, we have made “integrating technology” a primary focus. But now, it should be able to slip to the background, available to serve students as they seek out the “Three W’s”: Whenever, Whatever, Wherever.

Furthermore, as we plan for the use of the technology, we want to examine how the technology is being used. Is it merely a substitute in the classroom for a traditional activity that was once done on pen and paper? Or has the activity in the classroom been truly transformed by technology so that the task in no way resembles the original activity that was once completed without technology?

The use of technology to support teaching and learning is no longer an option in our classrooms. For decades, we have watched as technology has been used as a reward or been used as an add-on activity when there is time in the day. This has led to mediocre, inconsistent experiences for our students. While you can judge the relevancy of many topics explored in the classroom, you simply cannot argue that technology won’t play a major role in the lives of our students in their home, in their school, and in their workplace as the progress through their lives. As such, we must look for ways to integrate technology at a deeper level moving beyond just using it to replace a traditional activity once done on paper with pencil. Instead technology gives us access to a much bigger classroom with the ability to reach out to experts outside the walls of our schools, the ability to create multimedia worlds that demonstrate creativity and understanding, the ability to share work and receive feedback with someone beyond the teacher. We can modify and redefine our traditional classroom tasks and in doing so, open doors to easy pathways to creativity,critical thinking, communication and collaboration.

Vision

To facilitate learning and communication by enabling our community to become proficient critical thinkers who can access, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information using a variety of technological media.

  • The Queensbury School Community will have access to a range of appropriate and current technologies and the skills to use those technologies to solve problems and communicate effectively.
  • Technology training will be available and all staff will be encouraged to become technologically competent and to be role models for students.
  • Students will be prepared to use technology to meet their needs in the 21st century and expose them to world outside of Queensbury.
  • The district will provide the financial support for the planning and implementation of new technology in a manner that enables students, staff and community members to reach their full potential.
  • Technology will be used to provide connections and encourage partnerships with area businesses, libraries, museums and educational institutions.

Success in the information age will be defined by one’s ability to deal with the widespread availability of information and to communicate ideas and thoughts based on that information. Information exists in the form of text, video graphics, and or audio. All of these media are merging together and designated multimedia. Interactive multimedia offers all modes of communication under an engaging umbrella of learning, understanding and applications.

Beliefs

  • Every student should have equal access to the development of skills and knowledge of technology throughout their school career.
  • Learning and technology are interrelated – knowledge and curriculum will drive technology
  • Technology should be integrated into the classroom and curriculum so as to become a frequent support to teaching, learning, understanding and application.
  • Technology should be transparent in the classroom and not the primary focus of instruction, or simply stated, “doing technology or computers”.
  • Teaching and learning is a human experience and technology can enhance the interaction of the learner and the teacher.
  • The desire to obtain information drives the use of technology
  • Technology is a constantly evolving set of systems that requires maintaining relevance to the technological needs of society.
  • On-going staff development is required and serves as an integral component in integrating technology within teaching and learning
  • Each student is empowered to pursue the individual path best suited to his/her needs. Learning results not from access alone, but from continuous interaction between student, teacher, and the global community. Research suggests that technology is motivational for students, thereby improving academics, attitude toward school and self esteem. Technology is a tool that will assist learners throughout their lives.

Essential conditions

As QUFSD moves forward with its technology initiative, a realization exists that there are barriers that must be overcome in order to make the integration of technology into instruction a success. As a result, the district has adopted ISTE’s list of essential conditions that are necessary for “creating learning environments conducive to powerful uses of technology.”

Shared vision

Proactive leadership in developing a shared vision for educational technology among all education stakeholders including teachers and support staff, school and district administrators, teacher educators, students parents, and the community.

Empowered leaders

Stakeholders at every level empowered to be leaders in effecting change.

Implementation planning

A systematic plan aligned with a shared vision for school effectiveness and student learning through the infusion of information and communication technologies (ICT) and digital learning resources.

Consistent and adequate funding

Ongoing funding to support technology infrastructure, personnel, digital resources, and staff development.

Equitable access

Robust and reliable access to current and emerging technologies and digital resources, with connectivity for all students, teachers, staff, and school leaders.

Skilled personnel

Educators, support staff, and other leaders skilled in the selection and effective use of appropriate ICT resources.

Ongoing professional learning

Technology-related professional learning plans and opportunities with dedicated time to practice and share ideas.

Technical support

Consistent and reliable assistance for maintaining, renewing, and using ICT and digital learning resources.

Curriculum framework

Content standards and related digital curriculum resources that are aligned with and support digital-age learning and work.

Student-centered learning

Planning, teaching, and assessment centered around the needs and abilities of students.

Assessment and evaluation

Continuous assessment of teaching, learning, and leadership, and evaluation of the use of ICT and digital resources.

Engaged communities

Partnerships and collaboration within communities to support and fund the use of ICT and digital resources.

Support policies

Policies, financial plans, accountability measures, and incentive structures to support the use of ICT and digital learning resources.

Supportive external context

Policies and initiatives at the national, regional, and local levels to support schools and teacher preparation programs in effective implementation of technology for achieving curriculum and learning technology (ICT) standards.

Our goals

  • Digital equity
  • Digital age skills
  • Professional development

Goal: Digital foundations

Target: Students will be provided opportunities to develop digital literacy skills through collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication and have access to consistent digital foundations in the classroom to create community and connect globally.

As our technology usage continues to integrate more seamlessly in the culture of our district, we are fortunate to see how its use becomes more meaningful in instruction. Students across the district are using technology on a regular basis as part of everyday life in the classroom and we have gotten away from making technology use an “event”.

Now our focus can shift to providing students with the skills they need to be successful in all four schools. We want to ensure that regardless of who a student may have as a teacher, they are given the same opportunities to collaborate, create, communicate and problem solve using technology.

Reaching our target

Expanding student support (estimated completion date: 2021)

Across all four schools, we want students to have the opportunities to learn from each other. We currently have a student-led help desk in our Middle and High School, but that is for technical support. We want to offer similar opportunities for application and tool support.

To meet this target, we recommend the following actions:

  • Review support needs and program options in each building
    • What programs are feasible in each building to provide student support; what are the needs?
  • Develop plan for each building to provide instructional support
    • Once we have determined the feasibility, a plan will be created for implementing a student support structure (similar to our technology bullpen for staff)
  • Implement a student support structure at each building
    • During the final year of this plan, it is expected that each building will have a plan in place to allow students to support other students in the use of technology and not just for technical support
Development of benchmarks (estimated completion date: 2019)

As a district, we have been loath to provide a lockstep list of skills that students at various grade levels need to complete. We feel this becomes an exercise in compliance and not integration. Furthermore, it stunts the seamless use of technology by overemphasizing the “how to” instead of the “why”.

However, the district recognizes that there are certain abilities we want all students to acquire at various points throughout their schooling. As a result, we would like to development some broader benchmark accomplishments that we will implement across all grade levels and content areas in the district.

To meet this target, we recommend the following actions:

  • Identify needs at each grade level/building
    • What should students be able to accomplish at the end of each grade level and when they leave a building?
  • Create a broad outline of what students should be able to accomplish with technology
    • Document a series of accomplishments that will be disseminated to all teachers in all buildings.
Development of micro-credentials for students (estimated completion date: 2020)

In our limited testing of proof of concept, we have recognized that the “gamification” of content in the classroom has push students to be more intrinsically motivated to master skills. To that end, we would like to pursue a way for students to get recognized across the district for accomplishing various self-driven tasks and award micro-credentials for those students that meet various criteria.

To meet this target, we recommend the following actions:

  • Create opportunities that allow students to obtain micro-credentials
    • Develop various pathways that have appeal at all age levels in the area of instructional technology. For example, moviemaking, creating podcasts, developing their own review activity could all be potential micro-credentials.
  • Create a platform for students to access micro-credentials
    • Where will our micro-credentials be hosted? How will students showcase which ones they have earned?
  • Pilot Google Level 1 Certification for Students
    • Who will be eligible to take the assessment? What is the criteria for training and receiving code?
Curriculum alignment (estimated completion date: 2020)

Across the buildings during the planning process, there was a feeling that staff need more opportunities to work together on the integration of technology. The ones that are comfortable integrating tools create a larger divide from those that are a little more reluctant. By giving peers time to share and work together on how to integrate technology more meaningfully when they are teaching the same content will ultimately allow us to reduce that divide.

To meet this target, we recommend the following actions:

  • Creation of gifted groups that can form around micro-credentials
    • We will to re-introduce the concept of gifted groups that allow teachers to work together in their own developed groups centered on common topic like a curricular unit or thematic topic.
  • Have grade-level “renewals” that can be used to transform specific sections of curriculum
    • Allow teachers within a grade-level to host their own curriculum renewal to give them opportunities, resources, and times to align their curriculum with the meaningful use of technology
  • Drive the use of the instructional technologist in curriculum development efforts
    • Continue to expand the role of the instructional technologist as an instructional leader by having him/her play in integral role in the items above.
Software evaluation (estimated completion date: 2019)

We are aware that in order to provide our students with more opportunities, we have to provide them with appropriate tools and resources to make this happen. One area to help with that is in our support and use of software/applications. Not enough attention has been paid over the years to what we are spending budget money on annually in this area and consequently, no one can say for sure how integral an application is to supporting instruction in the classroom. An evaluation process needs to be developed and implemented so that an annual review of where we are spending money can be properly assessed.

To meet this target, we recommend the following actions:

  • Perform annual analysis of applications being used in the district
    • Gather usage data, survey staff, scrutinize budget
  • Identify tools that are not being heavily utilized and plan for more PD or elimination
    • Based on analysis described above
  • Review new applications and their impact on consistent educational opportunities (i.e. finding applications that are appropriate for all students in a content area or grade level)
    • Develop a thorough process for purchasing new applications

Goal: Digital citizenship

Target: Queensbury students and staff will be exhibit strong digital citizenship and be positive contributors to the digital community

In a technology survey conducted twice during the 2016-2017 school year for both staff and students, we discovered that Digital Citizenship was an area that we were consistently rated lower than other areas.

It was clear that our efforts in professional develop was targeting technology skills and technology integration into the curriculum, but was neglecting digital citizenship. As a result, during the 2017-18 school year, a committee was formed to examine what we were doing in the area of digital citizenship. The committee then developed a three-year rollout plan to better integrate digital citizenship across multiple content areas in grades K-12. We were cautious to not isolate digital citizenship as something taught only in the media center or technology classes, but rather as something that needed to be taught, re-taught and taught again every year in different content areas.

Reaching our target

Target: Students at Queensbury will have a strong foundation of technology skills that are supported through the development of communication, collaboration, creative thinking, and creativity skills.

To meet this target, we recommend the following actions:

Staff awareness of components of digital citizenship (estimated completion date: June 2019)

The first step of rolling out our plan is to get our staff up to speed on what digital citizenship is. The committee that met in 2017-18 discovered that digital citizenship could mean different things to different people. They felt strongly that there should be a consistent definition of what it is. Additionally, the committee, using content created both by Common Sense Education and Google’s Be Internet Awesome, develop five major themes that would be used in all buildings to develop a common language. During the 2018-19 school year, each building will be exposed to these major themes so that discussions can begin on how best to teach these themes in each grade level.

It is expected that each building will utilize a combination of staff meetings and Superintendent’s Conference Day time to build activities that will further expose staff to our core themes.

Curriculum development (estimated completion date: September 2020)

Once we have our staff speaking the same “language” regarding digital citizenship, our next step will be to develop curriculum that will help teachers across all grade levels teach age-appropriate lessons that meet our five themes.

The committee that met in 2017-18 examined existing curriculum available for teachers to use and highlighted the Common Sense Education curriculum as being the strongest for use in our district. However, simply selecting a curriculum is not enough. Identifying where, when and how the lessons can be taught is critical. Therefore, the second year of our plan will be spent doing a deeper dive into each of the lessons from Common Sense to determine what content areas can be utilized when teaching the lesson and when the lesson would best fit into the curriculum calendar. It is crucial that this curriculum not be viewed as “on more thing” to do by the teachers and rather, it should be seamlessly woven into the curriculum, where the lessons being taught on digital citizenship correlate to the content being taught at the same time. For example, could a lesson on cyberbullying fit well into an ELA classroom that is reading a fictional account of a student being bullied? Could a lesson on digital ethics work in a social studies classroom discussing a historically relevant event?

The timeline would allow us to use the 2018-19 school year to begin previewing the lessons with hopes that they could tested in the classroom and further developed and revised during the 2019-20 school year. Our goal is to have a fully developed curriculum shared with all staff to begin the 2020-21 school year.

Curriculum integration (estimated completion date: June 2021)

If we follow the timeline above in the prior two steps, our final step would be to have full integration across all four schools during the 2020-21 school year. It will be an expectation that all lessons chosen and developed be taught by the selected content area teachers. We also fully expect that there will be exposure to digital citizenship lessons each year so that our students will continue to hear the same messages each year that they pass through our school district.

Goal: Future-ready instructional modes

Target: Queensbury community will use future-ready instructional models and learning techniques

As we have continued to move toward a digital culture for teaching and learning, we have continued to realize that a traditional model of instruction that is teacher-led is not always the best solution for our students to acquire knowledge and skills. As such, we must continue to explore alternative models for classroom instruction to better prepare our students to be lifelong, self-directed learners.

Because we are fortunate to be able to place a device in the hands of every student, models of blended learning can become a reality and allow us to find alternate models of instruction. No longer does a teacher have to be the sole provider of content in the classroom. In fact, technology should allow teachers to give up the need to teach all content and better position them to provide remediation or acceleration based on information gathered from digital assessments being delivered on the students’ device. Teachers can better utilize a blended model to allow for more targeted small-group instruction that truly narrows the focus of instruction on the individual needs of the students rather than a broad whole-class instructional model.

Our earliest efforts in exploring this goal has produced engaging, personalized instruction that truly shifts the model of instruction from teacher-directed to student-center. We have classrooms that are using a station-rotation model to allow for small group instruction and self-directed student learning to take place simultaneously. We have classrooms that are using a flipped model to allow teachers and students to spend class time engaged in practice rather than lecture. We have classrooms using personalized learning to allow students to work at their own pace and level of understanding providing a much-richer and level-appropriate form of instruction.

Reaching our target

Target: Queensbury community will use future-ready instructional models and learning techniques

To meet this target, we recommend the following actions:

Blended learning awareness (estimated completion date: June 2019)

Continue to expand use of blended learning models (personalized/flex, flipped, station-rotation). Building off of efforts from the previous school year, blended learning models will continue to be a focal point in discussions about innovative instructional design. This will include continued presentations at staff meetings, admin meetings, superintendent’s conference days, and workshops.

Blended learning awareness (estimated completion date: June 2020)

Identify learning resources for digital curriculum across content areas. To support blended learning in our classrooms, it is imperative that teachers have access to appropriate content delivery and assessment tools to better track student progress and performance. We will identify tools that can be used in various content areas, pilot them in select classrooms and offer professional development.

Goal: Professional development

Target: Provide self-paced and content-specific professional development opportunities for all staff that utilize current digital technologies and resources

Technology use in the classroom is no longer an optional exercise for teachers. Our students deserve opportunities to utilize the tools that will continue to dominate their life. To that end, we must focus on how teaching can be extended through the use of technology and provide opportunities for teachers to develop meaningful curriculum opportunities that are supplemented and supported by technology use

The efforts that the district has made over the past decade has set us up well for this goal. We have a strong foundation of technology skills and support to begin asking the question, “What can we do next?” For us, that next step is to take a deeper look at how we are using the technology in our classrooms, not just if or when we are using the technology.

Past efforts in professional development have focused on introducing all staff to a common vocabulary of technology integration in the classroom. Every teacher has spent at least two days doing a closer analysis of the ISTE NET-S Standards and have reflected on how their current teaching practices are meeting those standards. Time was also allotted to allow teachers to adapt lessons/units to better align with the standards.

Additionally, teachers throughout the district have been instructed on how to use the SAMR model to examine how planned instruction can be analyzed according to the SAMR hierarchy. Rather that shoehorn activities into the curriculum to meet the highest levels of SAMR, emphasis was placed on understanding that all technology-related activities have a place in the model, but that we need to look for opportunities to transform our lessons by either modifying or redefining the activity through the use of technology.

As our common vocabulary has expanded, we are now at a point where we need to be providing more relevant professional development opportunities. The “one-size-fits-all” model that has served us so well for a number of years as we introduced major topics is not ready for replacement by models that are more personalized, flexible and content-specific.

Reaching our target

Target: Provide self-paced and content-specific professional development opportunities for all staff that utilize current digital technologies and resources.

To meet this target, we recommend the following actions:

Development of micro-credentials (estimated completion date: September 2018)

Teachers will have access to online pathways that will allow them to have control over the time and place that that they receive professional development. They will also have say in choosing more meaningful professional development opportunities.

Expand epiqCon (estimated completion date: August 2019)

As we prepare to host our fourth epiqCon conference in the summer 2018 for our teachers, there has been a lot of discussion about expanding epiqCon to other schools. Currently, our staff members lead all of the workshops being offered, so by expanding, we could bring in new voices and offerings for staff to learn from.

Current technology assessment

The QUFSD campus consists of four school buildings: high school, middle school, intermediate school, and elementary school. The design includes connection points or “drop” locations in each classroom in every building, two for the teacher and at least four for students. These drop locations are run into the existing classrooms with surface mounted raceways or conduit.

The infrastructure design also includes multiple information outlets or network connections in the libraries and lab spaces, in sufficient numbers to support large numbers of students working simultaneously including connections for computers and printers. Connections are also provided in the administrative offices and other common building areas such as the teacher rooms, cafeteria, gymnasium and auditorium. The same physical network provides support for both instructional and administrative applications. The appropriate security components are engineered into the network to insure separate functional networks, and to preserve personal/confidential data. Creating an integrated network ensures the most cost-effective and efficient use of technology to support teaching and learning, as well as to increase staff productivity.

Within this structured network design, all information outlets within a building are tied together via a series of strategically located connection points (wiring closets) and a high-speed fiber-optic backbone running up to speeds of 10 gigabit. Specialized networking equipment such as data switches are located in each wiring closet, and allow all the connections to be tied together into one overall building-level local area network (LAN).

Interconnectivity between the buildings also exists, utilizing fiber that is run between the buildings in conduit. The fiber currently runs at a speed of 10 gigabit per second. By connecting the buildings together, the district is able to run all of its resources across a single, secure data network all centered out of one location in the middle school. The main data center houses all network activity. A virtualized server farm makes up the majority of network servers. The virtualized environment allows the district to maximize its computing power by sharing physical resources among multiple servers located on a virtual server. This has led to a reduced cost for replacements, as well as power and cooling demands. Additionally, there remains a few specialized physical servers, for which a virtual environment is not suitable.

Wireless access

While not the answer for a campus wide solution, wireless is available in the QUFSD network. Wireless access points have been implemented throughout the buildings, in every classroom, as well as corridors and shared facilities (media centers, LGI, cafeterias). The access points all currently run the 802.11ac standard.

The wireless network has the ability to support both district-owned and personal devices. However, the two networks remain on separate IP schemes. The district-owned device network (Qbury-Auth) allows any device to connect but the device must be approved using MAC address authentication. The personal device network (Qbury-Guest) allows any staff or student to connect to it using their username and password that authenticates against the district’s content filter. Staff may utilize this network throughout the day, while students can only connect to the guest network after the school day has ended.

Internet

In 2018, the district upgraded its internet connection to a 500MB dedicated ethernet connection using Spectrum’s fiber solution. At the time, the district was connecting at 350MB, so the additional bandwidth has provided the district with ample bandwidth to support all current devices as well as room to grow.

Mobile devices

The district is in its third year of a 1:1 initiative that puts a Chromebook in the hands of every student in grades 1-12. Students in grades 5-12 receive a Chromebook that they can take to and from school. Students get new Chromebooks at the start of 5th and 9th grade and possess that same Chromebook for four years. Students in grades 1-4 have a classroom cart from which they are assigned a Chromebook to use for the year. This Chromebook stays in school on a daily basis. Kindergarten students are in a 2:1 configuration, where two classrooms share one cart of Chromebooks.

Information systems

Below is a list of the current information systems being used in the district:

  • SchoolTool: Students information
  • WinCap: Financial and human resources 
  • HealthMaster: Health information
  • LunchBytes: Food service
  • Transfinder: Transportation
  • MyLearningPlan: Professional development
  • Kace: Technology help desk and asset management
  • IEP Direct: Student services management

Staffing

The technology support staff that currently exists at Queensbury can be broken down into three areas: instructional, technical, and informational. All positions listed below are overseen by the Director of Technology, who serves as the technology administrator for the district. The roles of this position include overseeing all facets of the technology program in the district, ensuring that the instructional side is in concert with the technical side, maintaining and reviewing hardware and software standards, developing and maintaining an annual technology budget, managing all project related technology activities, and providing plans and processes to allow the successful integration of technology in instruction.

The director of instructional technology manages the interface between the three silos.

Data silo

Role of Director of Technology (District Data Coordinator)

  • Lead district data team
  • Define data collection standards and responsibilities
  • Review systems for alignment to data standards
  • Communicate data standards across departments
  • Develop a data verification protocol
  • Coordinate and facilitate district data team meetings
  • Respond to requests for data for analysis purposes
  • Direct or assist in the direction of the data analysis activities and instructional improvement initiatives

Role of Data Specialist

  • Member of district data team
  • Maintains student data as part of district student information system
  • Tracks and abides by all state guidelines and deadlines for data warehouse
  • Respond to requests for data extracts that conform to the Data Warehouse file formats
  • Level 1 contact between district and regional information center
  • Provides guidance and support for district registrar
  • Database maintenance of student information system, finance system, cafeteria system, and health system
  • Provide help desk support for all issues related to database systems
  • Generate reports as requested by Director
  • Create accounts for all new staff and students in all applicable databases

Technical silo

Role of Director of Technology (District Data Coordinator)

  • Oversees all activities in regards to computer network
  • Manages technical team
  • Leads decision making on hardware, network, server processes, policies, purchases and procedures

Role of Systems Analyst

  • Oversees the technical implementation of the computer network including network switches, wireless infrastructure, Internet access, server farm, firewall, and content filter
  • Manages the help desk system and reports all critical issues to the Tech Director
  • Obtains pricing on major hardware purchases and presents to the tech director
  • Provides Level 1 support for Middle School
  • Point of contact for outside technical support with hardware and software vendors
  • Maintains and updates all infrastructure hardware including servers and network switches
  • Maintains and ensures all daily backups and off-site backups

Role of Computer Analyst

  • Provide Level 1 technical support for end users
  • Respond to help desk requests
  • Maintain and update hardware and software in assigned building
  • Research efficient processes for improving district hardware and software systems

Instructional silo

Role of Director of Technology (District Data Coordinator)

  • Lead technology integration efforts in the instruction
  • Research and implement effective educational technology initiatives including software, hardware, and programs.
  • Coordinate professional development in the area of educational technology
  • Lead district technology committee
  • Communicate updates and modifications regarding technology to district staff
  • Coordinate Tech Bullpens in each building

Role of EdTech

  • Work with teachers on planning, research, implementation, and teaching utilizing technology tools in the classroom
  • Research innovative methods of tech integration in the classroom
  • Provide instructional/software support for staff
  • Lead district workshops on technology tools
  • Develop training materials to support teachers and staff

Budget

We have been extremely fortunate to maintain a consistent level of funding despite the economic issues that education has been facing for the last few years. The ability to maintain and replace our technology is of upmost importance to help sustain our ability to deliver quality instruction utilizing technology resources.

Additionally, through the use of a number of major grants, we have been able to secure a large amount of technology in our buildings, including Chromebooks in all schools, projectors in our high school, and a number of peripherals and accessories throughout the campus.

In other areas of the budget (software, maintenance, supplies), we have continued to work within the existing budget that has been appropriated by the district. Our maintenance budget has been critical for continuing to keep up-to-date with our support contracts. These contracts allow us to continue to install current software and obtain hardware support on various devices in our district. Our maintenance budget also provided the resources and support we need to implement our server virtualization, which required a high- level of technical expertise that has now been passed down to our own technical staff.

Our software budget has been the same for the last five years, and we continue to be able to work within those parameters. By moving to Google Apps for Education, we are able to recognize savings by not having to maintain the annual subscription cost of Microsoft Office. We have utilized some of that savings by investing in various software subscriptions (see software section) to increase productivity and creativity by our staff and students.

We are cognizant that with the use of grants to fund a large portion of our hardware, there will be a funding cliff that exists when it is time to replace this equipment. The district recognizes the need to increase the equipment budget to accommodate the replacement of roughly 3,600 Chromebooks every four years. Additionally, we will look to utilize Smart Schools funding to help offset those replacement costs.

Replacement cycle

The ability to maintain a consistent budget has allowed the district to build a replacement cycle to keep our key infrastructure components (servers, network equipment, computers, laptops, and printers) up-to-date. Every year, computers are replaced in one school building. In addition, across all five years, updates to servers have taken and will continue to take place to ensure that our network backbone does not age in advance of our end- user devices.

The replacement plan over the years covered by this plan will be as follows:

Summer 2019

  • 1:1 Devices (4th, 5th, 9th grade)
  • Replace WHBI/Transportation/B&G/Admin PCs
  • Replace WHBI/QHS/Admin Staff Chromebooks
  • Replace Innovations Lab PCs
  • Replace QHS Business Lab PCs (possible VDI solution)
  • Replace QMS PLTW PCs (possible VDI solution)

Summer 2020

  • 1:1 Devices (K/1, 5th, 9th grade)
  • Replace QHS PCs
  • Replace QMS PLTW PCs (possible VDI solution)
  • Replace QHS PLTW PCs (possible VDI solution)
  • Replace Cleartouch PC modules

Summer 2021

  • 1:1 Devices (3rd, 5th, 9th grade)
  • Replace QMS PCs
  • Replace QES/QMS Teacher Chromebooks
  • Replace MIDI Lab Macs
  • Replace District Servers

Summer 2022

  • 1:1 Devices (2nd, 5th, 9th grade)
  • Replace WHBI/QHS Teacher Chromebooks
  • Replace Admin Chromebooks
  • Replace WiFi Access Points and Network Switches

Summer 2023

  • 1:1 Devices (4th, 5th, 9th grade)
  • Replace QES PCs
  • Replace Media Production PCs
  • Replace Digital Graphics Macs and MacBooks