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Schools 2.0: District Bolsters Tech Offerings for New Year

Technology teacher coordinator among changes coming to Lacey district

Lacey students will see an increased emphasis on technology when the

The district plans to incorporate students' own technological devices in the classroom and giving teachers greater support and coordination as they make better use of technology in their lessons.

The Board of Education approved $395,440.80 in technology upgrades, including 520 Dell computers, $10,308 per month for a fiber optic high-speed wide area network, $946,199.35 for wireless upgrades throughout the district and more.

Most of the wireless hubs and cables are installed, Superintendent Dr. Sandra Brower said.

“We’re hoping in September, we’ll have all schools with stronger web capacity,” she said.

The initiative goes hand in hand with the role of the Technology Learning Committee, which is made up of parents, community members, teachers, students and administration. The group will be meeting for the second time next week.

One program coming out of the Technology Learning Committee is Blended Learning, which will provide high school students with the opportunity for online learning.

It is Brower’s vision that by the end of each student’s high school career, each individual will have one online class on their transcript.

The district is also unwinding BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Students will have the ability to utilize their own devices—smart phones, iPads and more—for educational purposes during classes.

Currently, the district is technologically ready for such an initiative but still need to adopt policies, Brower said.

The school district continues to develop its website, recently rolling out a comprehensive online calendar. This calendar will include all school activities but if a resident is only interested in Cedar Creek, a selection can be made to simply view just the happenings of that school.

“This was something that was very important to me and it’s coming alive,” Brower said, adding that it was an issue brought up by parents at her Listening and Learning Forums. “We’re really excited about this project.”

As an add-on to the district’s website, each teacher will be required to have their own website this year to be used by parents and students. 

The district will be utilizing former teacher Jason England as the new Technology Teacher Coordinator. England will act as a “coach” to teachers to integrate technology into lessons, Brower said. He is also heavily involved in the Blended Learning Program.

“Jason will be taking on multiple roles,” High School Principal James Handschuch said. He’ll be working with students on the virtual school program while also working closely with staff.

“I will work with all staff members to ensure that every vision or desire they have for classroom lessons which involve a technological means is made a reality and runs without a hitch,” England said.

England has a strong background in the use of promethean boards and will show staff how to utilize the technology as an instruction tool, Handschuch said. Teachers currently use the boards but not to its full capabilities.

He’ll work with teachers in planning and the application of technology so students develop skills, an understanding of digital citizenship and their responsibility and knowledge in the use of technology, England said.

Additionally, England will assist in the research, identification, selection, installation and maintenance of educational technology tools to foster student achievement, he said.

England has been working with Handschuch to prepare for the upcoming school year. The district will have much improved reference materials available for staff, he said.

“My plan is to make Lacey Township High School the place where other schools from around the state come to see exemplary technology integration that aids teachers in their instruction and connects students and their parents to this great educational institution,” he said. 

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