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Renton School District

2016-2022 Technology Plan

The Renton School District Technology Vision & Implementation Plan 2016-2022 was approved by the Board of Directors  on November 9, 2016.  This document outlines how Levy funds will be used to ensure high quality instruction in a progressively digital environment, to equitably prepare our students for the opportunities of the future.  

Renton School District Technology Vision & Implementation Plan 2016-2022

Executive Summary

We live and work in a digital environment – one of instantaneous access to information and communication. Wireless access is assumed; ubiquitous access through ‘smart’ devices is expected. Just as these capabilities allow us to interact in ways we could not imagine 20 years ago, our education system needs to develop our students with the skills and flexibility for jobs that do not exist today and in many cases we cannot even imagine. We understand the components of a great education system that equitably prepares students for the opportunities of the future and have created a Technology Vision and Plan to support it.

The citizens of Renton have provided the District with strong and reliable support for the integration of technology into teaching, learning, and district operations since 1992 through a series of levies and bonds.  Their continued support through the six-year Levy (passed in February 2016) allows for technology to become an integral and daily part of every student’s education. Technology enhances strong student learning by providing students with greater access and rich opportunities, through powerful instructional models supporting:

  • Differentiation of instruction
  • Increased value of relationships
  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)
  • Self-directed and teacher-directed learning
  • Student Centered Learning: developing student agency and ownership of their learning
  • Versatility of use of program/tools
  • Blending of curriculum and technology
  • Highly complex instruction and learning
  • Flexible and responsive instructional practices
  • Increased teacher productivity, collaboration, efficiency and efficacy

To implement these models our technology plan will dramatically increase student access to instructionally appropriate mobile devices such as laptops and tablets. Various models of technology integration will be piloted and adopted as fitting for the various grades and classes – these include more computers in the classroom, students having their ‘own’ device, computer on wheels (COWs) available as needed, and access to online resources and curriculum from anywhere. New instructional models will incorporate digital materials and some content will be available completely online. ‘Cloud-based’ tools, such as Office 365 and the Canvas learning management system will allow students, teachers, and parents access to class resources from anywhere and at any time. Classrooms will be modernized with new displays/projectors and the capability for teachers and students to easily and seamlessly show their work on the classroom screen. Teachers will be supported through a range of professional learning opportunities and will participate in the piloting and selection of curricula and various technologies.

Technology is necessary to support the District’s operations -- all day, every day. The District plan will continually update our infrastructure, hardware, wiring, and software to meet the growing expectations and requirements of our $200 million operations. Our vision includes digitizing our business operations and moving away from paper. This will increase our efficiency and provide real-time data to allow for tracking, monitoring and improving all business operations. Our vision of a mobile digital environment enhances our ability to recruit, train, and retain a diverse, high quality staff for schools and departments.  The conversion to digital information allows for providing a wider range of information, curriculum, and data to parents about their children and their classes.

Though this vision is forward-looking, there are critical challenges that we cannot ignore, including:

  • Student access to computers and the internet from home. Many of our students do not have a computer at home or they do not have internet access.
  • Integrating technology into teaching and the curriculum. The new Common Core State Standards require instruction that demands more from our students to prepare them for the next generation of work opportunities.
  • Providing support for students with a range of disabilities, medical needs, and learning requirements.
  • Developing new support structures as additional laptops and other devices are used in our schools. As technology becomes the medium through which learning takes place, robust and timely support needs to be available throughout our schools and departments.

The Community’s support through the 2016 Levy allows us to meet these challenges directly. Collaboration and commitment across departments and schools allows us to solve these problems and support the District’s vision of "ensuring high quality instruction and learning for every child, every day in every environment and advances our goals of achievement, college and career readiness, and equity and access".

Technology Vision

Using technology intentionally and innovatively leads to greater equity and achievement for all students by:

  • increasing rigorous learning opportunities
  • enhancing authentic learning environments
  • providing differentiated and personalized learning
  • supporting collaboration, productivity, and creativity
  • providing opportunities to develop and demonstrate critical thinking skills

This ensures high quality instruction and learning for every child, every day in every environment and advances our goals of achievement, college and career readiness, and equity and access.

We live and work in a digital environment – one of instantaneous access to information and communication. Wireless access is assumed, ubiquitous access through ‘smart’ devices is expected. Just as these capabilities allow us to interact in ways we could not imagine 20 years ago, our education system needs to prepare our students for jobs that do not exist today and in many cases we cannot even imagine.

This document, while commonly referred to as a ‘tech plan,’ is a roadmap supporting all of the work in the district. Technology touches everyone in the district and in turn technology’s impact is amplified by the users.

The 2022 Technology Vision prepares our students for their future by supporting major societal and education trends.

  • New Standards
    • Common Core Standards and Aligned Curriculum
    • Common Assessments (Smarter Balanced)
  • New Expectations
    • Wireless Access Anytime, Anywhere - In and Out of School
    •  Access to Data and Curriculum Anytime
  •  New Technologies
    •   Mobile, Inexpensive Devices
    •  Data Collected and Shared - the Internet of Things
  • New Collaborative Opportunities
    •  Student to Student
    •  Teacher to Teacher
    •  School to Parent and Community
  • New Learning Options
    •  Personalized
    •  Blended 
    •  Differentiated

These trends are leading to the adoption and creation of new instructional models infusing technology and digital resources to support our District’s Improvement Plan. The Technology Vision and societal trends provides the roadmap that guides the District in meeting the expectations of the next decade.

Technology Governance and 2022 Technology Vision

The Renton Technology Coordinating Council (RTCC) provides the leadership and guides the work of technology implementations. RTCC is made of up of a range of district and community stakeholders. Though RTCC provides overall governance, the 2022 Technology Vision was created with the guidance and input from a variety of stakeholders and multiple methods including:  

  • Online surveys of district staff (2014 and 2015)
  • Online survey of device requirements – staff and students (2016)
  • School Listen and Learn Tours (2014)
  • Interviews of District Leadership (2015)
  • Discussions and vision sharing building administrators
  • 2016 – 2022 Technology Plan reviews by district staff
  • Community Review
  • Renton Technology Coordinating Council (RTCC) ongoing input and consultation

The 2022 Technology Vision and Implementation Plan will be reviewed and revised by RTCC yearly. The revisions will be shared with staff and the Leadership team for additional input. This plan provides details on the first two years (2016-17 and 2017-18) with a broad outline of the remaining years. Our rapidly changing technology and curricula environment requires analysis and review of our implementation during the first two years to create appropriate plans for succeeding years.

Building Upon Community Support

Brief History of Technology in Renton

The citizens of Renton have provided the District with strong and reliable support for the integration of technology into teaching, learning, and district operations since 1992 through a series of levies and bonds. Beginning in the 1990s and then throughout out the 2000s all schools were equipped with computer labs, classroom computers, and printers. This supported our instructional model allowing for whole group instruction in the labs and individual and small group work in the classrooms. Each teacher was provided with a desktop computer. The first access to the internet was provided to the schools over telephone lines. District offices began to incorporate technology and were provided with the appropriate software and computers for their needs.

In the mid-2000s classrooms were equipped with ‘presentation stations’ that included a digital projector, document camera and audio system. In 2006 visionary technology leaders saw the need for high speed digital and internet access throughout the district and joined a consortium of cities, government agencies and school districts on the east side of Lake Washington that were adding and connecting fiber optic broadband access. In collaboration with the City of Renton, in 2007 the district started laying fiber optic cable to our schools and buildings, completing this effort in 2014.

Beginning in 2008 wireless Wi-Fi access was provided to our buildings for instructional purposes in conjunction with deployment of the first wireless laptops in carts (better known as COWs – Computers on Wheels). This movement to mobile computers reached teachers in 2012 with their classroom desktop computer being replaced by a laptop. In 2012 an external consultant was hired to examine the operations of the technology program. Cabinet and RTCC accepted the recommendations to reorganize and expand the department to meet growing expectations and needs.

2012 Levy and Its Impact

In 2013 the movement to mobile, Wi-Fi enabled computing accelerated with the planning and in 2014 the addition of over 800 wireless access points bringing the district total to 1100. This includes one access point in each classroom allowing a classroom set of computers to easily access online materials. In 2014 an additional 1600 laptops in over 100 COWs were added throughout the district continuing the move toward mobile devices. These systems were robust enough to support students taking district and state assessments online. Support for ‘cloud-based’ computing began in 2014 with upgrades to our underlying hardware and then our software systems. Two cloud-based programs, Office 365 and Canvas, a learning management system, were piloted and adopted. Roll-out of these programs began in early 2016. The old, outdated intranet based upon SharePoint will be completely revised and updated in 2016. All of this work is providing the infrastructure and tools to support student learning and instruction through having appropriate access to a laptop, computer or other type of mobile device. The 2016 Levy will focus on improving access and equity to the resources necessary for all of our students being prepared to be productive citizens and students in the 21st Century.

 

District Status October 2016

Student and Staff Population

The total number of students in Kindergarten through 12th grade is 15, 306 including:

  • Grades K-5: 7624
  • Grades 6-8: 3216
  • Grades 9-12: 4285
  • Multi-grade programs: 181

The total number of staff is 1743 including:

  • Certificated, Full time equivalent (FTE): 996
  • Classified, Full time equivalent (FTE): 647
  • Administrators: 100

Diversity

Students in our district speak over 98 languages with over 37% having a first language other than English. Over 52% of students receive free and reduced price meals.

Equipment

  • Total number of computers: 10,018
  • Total number of student computers:  8057

Core Systems

  • Environment:  Microsoft Active Directory, Office, Windows
  • Learning Management System: Canvas
  • Student Information System, Business, Human Resource System:  Skyward
  • Technical Infrastructure: Cisco & HP routing, switching & servers, Meraki Wi-Fi
  • WAN:  Owned Fiber Optic and K20 Internet Service
  • Computing Infrastructure:  HP, Apple, Google
  • Website:  Schoolwires
  • Intranet:  SharePoint

 

Technology Support of District Goals

Overview

Technology by itself does not improve teaching, learning or the efficient operation of the district. It needs to be part of a broader plan that consciously incorporates technology to support the attainment of our goals. Our District Improvement Plan guides the implementation of 2022 Technology Vision and Plan.

District Improvement Goals and Technology Outcomes 

  • Goal 1: Pre-K/12 Achievement – Each student will meet or exceed all state and district standards. Intentional, innovative use of technology will have a direct impact on student achievement by
    • Using tools/resources to support rigorous, standards-based instruction
    • Allowing for tighter horizontal alignment across subjects and vertical alignment across grades
    • Increasing the ability to differentiate and personalize learning
    • Facilitate the use of accessible, accurate, and actionable data
  • Goal 2: College and Career Ready – Each student will graduate with the necessary skills and appropriate plan to continue to post-secondary options. Learning technology will provide more opportunities for students to develop real-world skills, including:
    • Creativity and innovation
    • Communication and collaboration
    • Research and information fluency
    • Critical thinking, problem solving and decision making
  • Goal 3: Equity and Access – Each student will be valued, connected and achieving – no barriers. This will include providing students with access to the internet from home, with that capability. Technology can address issues of equity and access by:
    • Extending learning opportunities
    • Engaging families
    • Empowering students with ownership over their own learning
  • Goal 4: Business and School Operations - The 2022 Vision supports the educational process, increase student achievement and provide value through efficient and effective allocation of technology operational resources in schools and departments by:
    • Providing integrated, secure services accessible inside and outside of the district available 365 days, 24 hours a day
    • Creating a sustainable modernization/refresh plan for district technology – computers, printers, copiers, servers, network infrastructure, etc.
    • Developing and supporting the appropriate partnerships between all departments and provide interconnections between department databases and systems
  • Goal 5: Human Resources – Will use exemplary practices to recruit, train and retain diverse, high quality staff for schools and departments through:
    • Providing ongoing technology professional development to staff that is aligned with new standards, curriculum, instructional practice, and assessments
    • Utilize a recruitment management system to attract and retain high quality candidates for both certificated and classified staff
    • Implement an effective substitute management system to ensure classroom coverage with the limited substitute pool

Vision of Student Learning

The overall goal of the 2022 Technology Vision enhances strong student learning by providing students with greater access and rich opportunities, provided by powerful instructional models. These goals can be measured by student application of learning, both in existing academic measures and in student production of creative demonstrations of learning.

Models for student learning

This vision supports a range of models for blended and personalized learning that are powerful and allow for:

  • Differentiation of instruction
  • Support activities for students
  • Support Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)
  • Self-directed and teacher-directed learning
  • Student-centered learning developing student agency
  • Versatility of use of program/tools
  • Blending of curriculum and technology
  • Highly complex instruction and learning
  • Flexible and responsive instructional practices
  • Increased teacher productivity, collaboration, efficiency and efficacy
  • Increased value of relationships

The 2022 Vision also has powerful expectations for the integration of technology through additional devices for students and teaching and learning practice.

Expectations of Implementing the Technology Plan for Learning and Teaching

Student Experience  Equity Instructional model Teacher practice
  • Strengthened collaboration
  • Increased value of face-to-face interactions
  • Extended learning opportunities
  • (outside of the classroom/school day)
  • Opportunities for inquiry-based learning
  • Opportunities for creativity
  • Learning at one’s own pace
  • Increased engagement
  • All students have access to appropriate technology
  • Access inside and outside of school
  • Personalize learning for students
  • Amplifying multi-tiered system of support
  • Family engagement with learning process
  • Alignment to Common Core State Standards and Standards Based Instruction
  • Project-based learning
  • Support Renton School District models in English Language Arts and Math
  • Alignment to Danielson framework
  • Student-centered classrooms
  • Use of formative assessments to inform instruction and provide feedback
  • Integration across content areas
  • Incorporation of media and digital literacy
  • Increased productivity and collaboration
  • Ease of personalizing and differentiation and personalizing learning
  • Greater access to digital resources and tools
  • Amplified creative teaching
  • Increased professional learning opportunities
  • Collection and analysis of data
  • Teacher as active facilitator
  • Collaboration with parents
  •  

Challenges

  • Student access to computers and the internet from home. Many of our students do not have a computer at home or they do not have internet access. As more curriculum and resources are online, solutions for these problems will need to be found. Providing a laptop to be taken home will be easier to solve than the internet/broadband access. Also, students from homes lacking technology come to our classrooms behind in a number of skills that other classmates possess.
  • Integrating technology into teaching and the curriculum. The new Common Core State Standards require instruction that demands more from our students to prepare them for the next generation of work opportunities. This will require ongoing professional development for our teachers to support them in learning new tools to support learning opportunities incorporating technology for student use in and outside of school.
  • Providing support for students with a range of disabilities, medical needs, and learning requirements. This requires stronger support and maintenance for a wider range of technology than we currently have in place.
  • Engaging families and community with the realities of digital learning, including student data privacy, internet safety, and responsible digital citizenship.
  • Developing new support structures as additional laptops and other devices are used in our schools. Along with providing technology to students, we need to expand our capabilities allowing students and staff to use their personal devices for learning. Providing support, while also creating a secure and protected environment for non-district technology requires extensive planning, flexibility, and additional hardware and staff support.
  • Providing support and professional development for classified staff. The skills and needs of classified staff include a range of departments -- transportation, nutrition, maintenance, office staff, human resources, business and others.

Technology Budget

Budget Overview

A preliminary analysis of the anticipated revenue and expected budget costs has been conducted. Though it is difficult to predict new technologies or their costs, past expenditures and technology history was used to draft a five-year budget based upon the Plan’s goals and then to compare it to the anticipated revenue.

Revenue and Proposed Expenditures

Entering the 2016-2017 school year there is $12,500,000 available from the 2012-2016 technology levy. The 2017-2022 collections will be approximately $55,000,000, starting with $8,000,000 in the 2016-17 school year and increasing by $500,000 each year to 2021-2022, for a total of $55,500,000. The total available revenue is about $68,000,000 through the 2021-2022 school year including the current $12,500,000.

A set of draft expenditures over the first five-years of six year levy was developed to examine if it was possible to meet the district’s vision and goals and create a supportable modernization cycle. The draft expenditures categories included instructional technology, infrastructure, contingency, administration, and salaries. The analysis showed that the Levy, along with judicious use of appropriate General Funds, will be able to support the plan.

Appendices

2022 Technology Vision and Plan Participants and Data Sources

Technology Plan reviews (2015-2016)

  • Renton Technology Coordinating Council (RTCC) Guidance
  • Digital Learning Team
  • Cabinet
  • Staff   

References