Corporation Technology Plan

Wes-Del Community Schools 

3 year Technology Plan

 

July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2011

 

Technology Mission Statement


The Wes-Del Community Schools will incorporate technology as a natural part of education through an integrated, comprehensive curriculum.  All students will have the opportunity to develop lifelong learning skills necessary to become successful, productive citizens.  Technology will be an integral part of the curriculum, the instructional program, and the assessment process.  Students will utilize technology to develop problem-solving and independent thinking skills and assume an active role in their own learning.  Providing a positive learning environment, in partnership with parents, students, and community, will enable our students to become responsible, involved citizens and learners in an information-driven, global society.

 

Technology Vision Statement


In order to contribute to and thrive in a global community, students will become capable users of information technologies, which support and enhance teaching and lifelong learning. Wes-Del Community School students will be able to use the tools of educational technology effectively empowering a community of lifelong learners who are informed, responsible, and caring citizens in a democratic, global society.


Goals


1.   Provide opportunities for students, staff and community to improve the technology skills necessary to be successful in their educational, professional and personal situations.

2.   Provide the necessary replacement and upgrades of technology tools to promote the  effective delivery and implementation of curricular objectives.

3.   Improve the delivery of technology tools to all areas of our educational environment.

 

Infrastructure


Since 2003-2004, many changes have taken place at Wes-Del Community Schools. The corporation completed a remodeling project that closed Harrison Elementary, which contained grades 3-5.  Ten classrooms and a gymnasium were added to Gaston Elementary to accommodate the students from Harrison.  The grade configuration is now K-5 at Wes-Del Elementary and 6-12 at Wes-Del High/Middle School .  The corporation name was officially changed on July 1, of 2004 from Harrison-Washington Community Schools to Wes-Del Community Schools, and the Gaston Elementary name was changed to Wes-Del Elementary on that same date.  As part of the project, the 11 mbps wireless WAN was replaced with fiber optic cable connecting all of the buildings in the corporation.  Classrooms, offices, and computer labs received wiring updates or replacements.  Additional level 2 and 3 switches were added to allow for the future installation of wireless capability.  A new telephone system was added which included telephones in all classrooms to provide additional opportunities for teachers to communicate with parents.  Each building contains its own LAN that connects to our corporation WAN.


The combination of the WAN and LANs provide the framework to deliver Internet access and e-mail services to every classroom in the corporation.  The network currently includes eleven total servers and over 400 computers.  We use Novell as our networking software and Border Manager as our gateway.  Lightspeed handles our filtering and Internet control, and a Cisco PIX firewall provides our first line of protection between our school networks and the Internet. We have also added a Stoneware portal that provides secure encrypted access to our network.  The portal enables teachers and parents remote access to the network, allowing teachers to work from home and parents to check information regarding their child's academic progress.


At Wes-Del High/Middle School, a fiber optic backbone provides gigabit data transfers from the MDF (server room) to all three IDFs in that facility.  A fiber optic backbone was added to Wes-Del Elementary as part of the expansion project.  Cisco 3500 series switches have been installed providing gigabit connectivity to other switches; thus, providing 100MB transfer rates to each classroom desktop.  The high/middle school also includes a total of four networked labs.  Three of the labs are on the regular upgrade maintenance schedule.  The fourth uses older machines and serves as a writing lab where students can enhance their writing skills, complete writing assignments and use the Internet as a research tool to access current information.


The Wes-Del Elementary LAN was upgraded and expanded during the remodeling project.  The MDF is now connected to both IDFs with fiber optic cables to improve connectivity speeds on the backbone.  All pre-existing classrooms had at least two additional data drops added to the existing wiring structure, and each new classroom was equipped with six total data drops.  All classrooms were equipped with telephones.


An automated student management system is used in all buildings within the corporation. All teachers maintain an automated grade book, take attendance online, and provide progress reports to the parents every 2 ½ weeks at the high/middle school and every 4 ½ weeks at the elementary.  Students receive progress reports to increase the communication between school and parents, encouraging active involvement in the overall educational development of all students.  A centralized data collection point provides required state reporting information for all students and schools. STI Home Plus and Classroom Web were added in the summer of 2006 providing parents online access to their child's academic progress, attendance, and discipline information. Teachers can also access their grade book and plan book online.


In the fall of 2007, the libraries in each building were upgraded to the Follett Destiny library program from Spectrum which was owned by Sagebreush Corporation.   The automated system allows students and teachers to look up, investigate, and check out books, reference materials, and equipment with their school identification cards. It also provides the ability to conduct inventories of books, materials, and media equipment.  It is a web based product that can be expanded for use outside the corporation if needed.  


The overall communication has been improved with the installation of a new telephone system in 2004, and the Centrex System which has been implemented throughout the corporation.  The Centrex System provides additional lines to each school and at the same time reduces the total cost of the local service associated with the phone system.  At least one additional incoming and outgoing line was added to each building.  This has reduced some issues involving communication during peak times of the school day.  The corporation also has incorporated the use of cell phones to provide unlimited access to identified corporation personnel.


In October of 2007, the corporation implemented the School Messenger Program allowing the corporation to contact parents and staff members in the event of an emergency.  The system will contact up to four telephone numbers and two e-mail accounts per student or staff member.  The system will also be used to contact parents in the event of a student's absence and to notify parents in the event of a school delay or cancellation.


Future plans for the corporation include maintaining and supporting our current four year replacement schedule, investigating new and emerging technologies that can be implemented to further enhance instruction and investigating the use of wireless systems within buildings.


Technology in support of teaching and learning

 

Technology will continue to be used as a tool to provide a quality education for our students and also to prepare them for their future plans, both educationally and professionally. Teachers are continuing to improve their overall knowledge and incorporate technology and into their classrooms on a daily basis.  Staff members are taking advantage of professional development opportunities that have been provided, and new opportunities will continue to be offered in the future.  Professional development opportunities will be provided within our corporation and also at various offsite locations.


In an effort to provide the necessary tools to effectively infuse technology into the curriculum, it is important to maintain the equipment.  The corporation has developed a four year replacement schedule for computers that have been identified as "mission critical".  These are the machines that are located in teachers' classrooms, the computer labs, and administrative areas.  We have also included the computers we received through the IN-Access grant in the fall of 2006 into the schedule and hope to expand the number of IN-Access classrooms we have available. Although the four year replacement schedule may not be the ideal situation, it is a plan that is feasible for our corporation and allows our teachers and students to remain closer to current technologies.  Machines that are replaced or upgraded are moved to areas where they can still be effective, until it is no longer viable to maintain them.


The corporation believes that by providing effective staff development, coupled with effective tools and appropriate support, technology can and will be effectively integrated into the overall educational curriculum.  If teachers can be trained to meet the technological needs of our students, they will be willing and able to meet the overall learning needs of the students.

 

Total CPF Budget for the Central Office:

 

Technology Budget

Capital Projects Funds budgeted for Technology 2007

Licensing   $21,000

Hardware   12,360

Software     3,000

Staff Dev     3,000


Capital Projects Funds budgeted for Technology 2008

Licensing   $22,000

Hardware   5,220

Software     3,000

Staff Dev     3,000


Capital Projects Funds budgeted for Technology 2009

Licensing   $22,000

Hardware   5,580

Software     3,000

Staff Dev     3,000


Capital Projects Funds budgeted for Technology 2010

Licensing   $22,000

Hardware   5,342

Software     3,000

Staff Dev     3,000


Capital Projects Funds budgeted for Technology 2011

Licensing   $22,000

Hardware   6,370

Software     3,000

Staff Dev     3,000