The Bronxville School has introduced several technology innovations in order to
- Provide teachers with the devices, support, and training needed to integrate technology applications into classroom instruction;
- Give students anytime/anywhere access to school learning tools; and
- Streamline home-school communication.
To accomplish these goals we launched major changes in our network infrastructure, communications, student information systems, and instructional tools:
- We installed and upgraded wireless access points throughout the building, expanding coverage to the Elementary School.
- We purchased and deployed 300 laptops and Chromebooks as a way of broadening student access.
- We converted our electronic mail system to gmail as a way to facilitate use of Google Classroom tools and provide students with school-based accounts.
- We replaced two vendors and upgraded our website and parent portal in order to simplify access.
- We installed Google Classroom in order to support collaboration and communication among students. Students can work with each other, turn in their work online, and converse with their teachers ... all within a protected domain.
Each new school year requires students, teachers, and parents to reactivate accounts, remember passwords, and navigate upgraded software. This year requires even more as we grapple with new platforms. At this point, all High School students have activated their accounts, and all Middle School students will have activated their accounts by mid-week. About seventy-five percent of secondary parents have activated their accounts. All teachers in grades 6-12 are expected to post attendance, assignments, quiz dates, test dates, progress reports, and quarterly grades using the portal. This is our basic tool for home-school communication.
We trained all teachers how to use the portal before school opened, and on our websites we have posted a link to online assistance for parents. With experience we will learn what practices work best, and we will make adjustments accordingly. We still need to solve several problems related to the way these various platforms work with each other (such as switching school views) but our providers have been responsive and effective in making needed changes.
With new technologies come new responsibilities, and among those are the need to develop a responsible use policy for student use and to protect parent privacy rights concerning student information. The District is committed to meeting these responsibilities in a thoughtful, comprehensive way.
We want parents to provide parents a consistent, high quality experience when they seek school information. After we complete this first phase of implementation, we will use surveys and other methods to gather feedback from students, parents, and teachers. We are confident that this process will lead to further improvements and strong home-school communication.