School CIO: Back Office Business

3/27/2014 7:00:00 PM

A Colorado districts gets a new LMS

Challenge: The Cherry Creek School District (CO) wanted to find a learning management system (LMS) that would help improve communication and collaboration for its teachers and administrators. Most important, the LMS needed to integrate with the district’s student information system (SIS).

Solution: The district chose Schoology. “Schoology allows us to cleanly and easily share content and data between multiple systems,” says Kellie Ady, coordinator of instructional technology. “We can do tasks we never could before, like automatically grab enrollment data and share that with our PowerSchool SIS.” Schoology also allows teachers to embed and use resources from other third-party vendors. Cherry Creek teachers are also using Schoology for professional development and peer collaboration with PLCs and in their own classrooms. It is helping teachers explore new instructional goals such as creating assessments, aligning standards, and using rubrics for grading.

Green Bay Public Schools strives to close the digital divide

Challenge: As part of its 1:1 Chromebook program, Green Bay (WI) Public Schools wanted students to be connected to online educational resources outside of the classroom.

Solution: By partnering with Kajeet, the district can now deploy Kajeet SmartSpot™ devices to its schools. Students in grades 6-12 will have the option to take home the Kajeet SmartSpot with their school-issued Google Chromebook or netbook, and the Kajeet SmartSpot device will provide broadband access to disadvantaged students. “We’re focused on developing technology-rich lessons as part of the district’s curriculum goal, [and] we feel supporting [each] student’s efforts at home is [ just as] important in today’s competitive world,” says Diane Doersch, chief technology and information officer.

Hundreds of Washington districts can now offer online courses

Challenge: The Washington School Information Processing Cooperative (WSIPC), a non-profit cooperative made up of nine educational service districts and more than 295 school districts in Washington state, wanted to find a way to help its member districts expand course offerings and help students recover credits.

Solution: WSIPC purchased Edmentum’s Plato Courseware solution and is now providing courses in a wide range of core subjects, electives, global languages, honors courses, and advanced placement offerings. All courses are aligned with Common Core state standards and include integrated assessments so students don’t have to re-learn what they have already mastered. “When we started searching for a world-class digital curriculum with a proven track record to assist students in need of credit recovery, our search stopped with Edmentum,” says Marty Daybell, executive director of WSIPC.

Communication is at an all-time high in Kentucky

Challenge: Barren County (KY) School District’s 10-school, 5,000-student district wanted to streamline its communication efforts because using both email and websites was confusing and difficult. “It was very challenging,” says Melissa Moss, instructional technology specialist. “Things were so complicated that sometimes important communication tasks just didn’t get done.”

Solution: Several years ago, the district began using One Call Now for routine and emergency notifications. Later, they signed on with SchoolPointe for website hosting. The district now uses the One Call Now/SchoolPointe bundle for making district-wide and school-specific calls and for recording student attendance. Many clubs and classes use the service to reach small groups of students. Teachers use SchoolPointe to post agendas, class expectations, assignments, and links to educational resources. Moss estimates that the time her team spends on communication has been cut in half, which translates to additional savings. “Communications with the community, students, and faculty are better than ever,” she says.

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