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Evaluation

Cooney C Ed Tech 501-4173 Spring 2013

Southwest Suburban High School (SSHS) is located in a middle class suburban town, about halfway between Boston, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island. SSHS has undergone significant growth in the past thirteen years. In the year 2000, the town where SSHS is located had a population of 20,414 people, and a high school population of 893 students. In 2013, the towns population increased to 23,194, an increase of of 13.6%, while the student population at SSHS increased to 1492 students, an increase of 67.1%. Because the student population increased so much more dramatically than the general towns population, the schools budget has been challenged to keep up with the large increase in student population. The student population is about 51% male, 49% female. The student body is 90% caucasian vs the state average of 68%.

Students with limited English proficiency or students for whom English is not their first language comprise 0.7% of SSHS vs the state average of 16%. Low income students make up 11.9% of SSHS student body vs state average of 34%. Lastly, students with Special Education plans comprise 16.6% of the population vs the state average of 17%.

From SSHS class of 2012, 83% pursued a 4 year college degree, 7% enrolled in a 2 year or specialized program, 2% joined the military, and 8% sought full time employment.

Students at SSHS meet with success on the state mandated MCAS Test. Students consistently score above the state average on the state mandated exams.

Like the state test, students at SSHS score above the state average in all three categories of the SATs. For the academic year 2011-2012, scores for critical reading at SSHS were 523 vs state average of 506, writing scores at SSHS were 520 vs the state average of 500, and Math scores for SSHS were 553 vs the state average of 524.

Another notable statistic is that the district in which SSHS is located ranks 19th from the bottom out of all the school districts in the state for expenditure per pupil, spending $10,554 per pupil in 2010-2011 vs the state average of $13,361 per pupil expenditure in 2010-2011.

The school just completed a two year self evaluation process as part of its reaccreditation process. The self evaluation revealed that the school needs to do more include technology in the curriculum, as well increase professional development. The visiting team completed its visit recently. Some staff surveyed thought that the report that is forthcoming from the visiting reaccreditation team will greatly affect technology going forward. The Technology Benchmark Evaluation scores SSHS as islands. Generally this means that computers are used regularly, there is a planning process for technology, but the school needs to work on training, integrating technologies as part of the curriculum, and creating a more comprehensive technology policy. The breakdown by filter & category is as follows. Administrative Filter scored Islands Policy Behavioral: Islands There is both a formal technology plan in place that states no electronic devices are allowed to be used in school. There is no written policy on communication between staff and students via social media or other forms of electronic communication such as creating blogs or websites. The accepted tool for communication is school email. One teacher told me that she was told by another teacher that communication via Faceboook, Twitter, etc is not allowed, but this teacher did not know of any written policy. The surveyor was also told by a student, that some teachers will allow students to access technology via phones if internet access is needed for a lesson, even though it is against school policy. Resource/Infrastructure: Integrated This seems overstated, but scored as such because the school does have a policy in place (although it is not very comprehensive) and because the school has a formal Five Year Strategic Plan for Technology that is part of the districts plan. The plan was implemented in 2012, and is ultimately in place so that the schools in the district may integrate technology tools to help achieve 21st century learning. Planning Behavioral: Islands There is a formal planning process for technology that is part of the schools overall budget process. Resource / Infrastructure: Islands A five year strategic plan was implemented in 2012. As of this writing, those surveyed were unaware of of what affects the plan has had on the implementation of technology. Also, as of this writing, the school was under evaluation as part of the reaccreditation process. It is the

belief of those surveyed, that the results of the reaccreditation process will affect how and when technology is integrated into the daily curriculum. Budget Behavioral: Islands Each department is given a budget for the year for all expenses, any technology expenditures must be approved by the director of IT. Resource / Infrastructure: Emergent Because budgets have been tight for the past several years, the technology line item was often deleted from the budget in order to balance the budget. Administrative Information Behavioral: Integrated This was scored as such because the administrative software is used daily by all staff for attendance, and as needed for grade entry for both progress reports and report cards. Resource / Infrastructure: Islands The system has other technological capabilities, such as a grading program,and the ability to post assignments and lessons on line, but there is no formalized training for it,so only a few of staff utilize the grading program. . Curricular Filter scored Islands Electronic Information Behavioral: Islands Most staff rely on computers daily for planning purposes & administrative duties. Integrating technology into curriculum varies from class to class & teacher to teacher. Resource / Infrastructure: Islands Every teacher has a desktop, most classrooms have Smartboards that are used daily, however access for students is limited. Assessment Behavioral: Emergent Few assessments are done utilizing technology. Most are hand done, and then entered into a grading program. Resource / Infrastructure: Emergent Few tools available for assessment. The administrative software the school uses has a grading program, but only a handful of staff have been trained on it, so most use other grading programs that are easier and more intuitive to use. Curriculum Behavioral: Emergent Every teacher uses technology for planning purposes, but integration into daily lessons is limited due to student access. Teachers that have Smartboards use them for notes. Also, some teachers have created websites or use grading programs that are not part of the schools approved programs for student communication.

Resource / Infrastructure: Islands Only select classrooms have computer access or wireless routers. Teacher Use Behavioral: Integrated Teachers use technology for daily duties and daily for planning, learning, preparing. One teacher said that she could not imagine teaching without access to the internet. This teacher uses a website for a textbook, thankfully, most students have web access at home, since it is not available at school. Resource / Infrastructure: Integrated Every teachers has access to & uses technology for daily duties, as well as daily for planning, learning, preparing for class. Student Use Behavioral: Islands Few students have regular access to technology, and when used it is for research, writing, creating documents and presentations. Resource / Infrastructure: Emergent Only students in select classes have regular access to technology. Support Filter scored Emergent Stakeholder Involvement Behavioral: Emergent Few groups are aware of the planning process for either the five year technology plan or the yearly budget process Resource / Infrastructure: Emergent Teachers, administrators from all schools in the district were part of creating the five year strategic plan. Depends on department, how involved teachers or other stakeholder are in the planning process. Administrative Support Behavioral:Islands Administrators work with department heads as part of budget process. Resource / Infrastructure: Islands Support is limited to working w/ department heads. Training Behavioral: Islands Many staff participate in training outside of school, using their own money. Resource / Infrastructure: Emergent Very limited professional development offered at the school level Technical & Infrastructure Support Behavioral: Emergent

Staff do rely on IT department to troubleshoot problems. Resource / Infrastructure: Emergent IT department consist of a staff of four people to support all the schools in the district which includes 4,826 students (1,492 as SSHS), teaching staff of 260 teachers (SSHS 91 teachers) plus administrators. Given the size of the district, and the size of the IT department, they do not have the resources to offer professional development, their time is spent maintaining and upgrading the existing network. Connectivity Filter scored Islands Local Area Networking (LAN) Behavioral: Islands Each staff member has access to their own drive on the computers, plus a school wide drive is available for staff to share resources. Students have access to a student drive. Acess to drives is limited to computers in the school. Resource / Infrastructure: Islands Every computer has access to the drives. Limited computer access by students.

District Area Networking (WAN) Behavioral: Islands Staff uses network for traditional items such as research, planning Resource / Infrastructure: Intelligent High speed access in all classrooms for all teachers. Only limited student access in computer labs. Internet Access Behavioral: Islands Staff uses internet daily, mostly for planning purposes Very limited student access, but all computers in computer labs are connected to internet via high speed access. Resource / Infrastructure:Intelligent Communication Systems Behavioral: Integrated All staff regularly utilizes school wide email for communication. There is access to email system outside of school. Resource / Infrastructure: Emergent No student access to email (unless they use their own personal email address)

Innovation Filter scored Islands New Technologies Behavioral: Islands

Some of the staff are interested in using some basic technologies,such as a class website, while others are interested in learning about new ways to use technology in the curriculum; however there are few resources for training, and students do not always have access to technology. Resource / Infrastructure: Islands Some staff is willing to try new technologies, but little implementation due to lack of professional development & lack of student access. Comprehensive Technologies Behavioral: Emergent Technology is limited to TVs (no cable access), some computers, smart boards. Resource / Infrastructure: Emergent Under utilized due to lack of training. Staff would benefit from training such as smart board to utilize the technologies that we have. In conclusion, SSHS received an Islands score. The school and staff recognize the need to integrate technology, and the need to provide meaningful professional development for staff. The Technology Benchmark report reiterates the needs that the staff uncovered during their two year self study process. The staff shows a genuine willingness to learn new ways to provide instruction, and ways to collaborate with each other. However, as the Benchmark survey shows, the school needs to do more. It is not enough to have some teachers using technology while others are not, whether it is because they do not have access, or do not know how to use the technology. The survey shows a real need for professional development, which includes the resources, both people and money to provide the training. Also, the study shows that students do not have access to technology when needed, and that electronic communication between all, including students, can be improved. All desktops are hard wired with high speed internet access, but wireless access is limited to very few (one classroom and a laptop cart). Another area for improvement is the acceptable use policy which currently does not allow for any student electronics. The school has a solid five year technology plan, and if it is a working document, it should help the school move along in the process.

References Mansfield Public Schools (2012), District MCAS results, retrieved from: http://www.mansfieldschools.com/pdf%20files/2012MCASDistrictAnalysis.pdf Mansfield Public Schools (2012), Five year strategic technology plan, retrieved from: http://www.mansfieldschools.com/pdf%20files/5%20Year%20Tech%20Plan%202012.pdf Mansfield Public Schools (2012), Mansfield High School profile 2012-2013, retrieved from: http://www.mansfieldschools.com/Guidance/pdf%20files/Profile_2012-2013.pdf Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, (2012). 2011-12 SAT Performance report (district) all students retrieved from http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/state_report/sat_perf.aspx Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, (2011). 2010-11 Per pupil expenditures report, total expenditures function. Retrieved from http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/state_report/ppx.aspx