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"This Is Parkway" Digital Magazine

Project Parkway

Goal Committee Meetings

Focus Area Meetings

Focus Group 3/B Meeting - December 01, 2009


North Kansas City School District

Committee Members:

Rob Gaugh

Steve VanMater

Tom Swoboda

Jason Rooks

Bob Cranston

Agenda Items

Gather information about a variety of items dealing with One to One coomputing

Actions Taken

Return visit to discuss outcomes seen by NKCSD in refernece to student success and learning


North Kansas City School District
December 2009
In December of 2009, a group of Parkway personnel visited the North Kansas City School District (NKCSD) to review their deployment of a 1 to 1 computer environment in four high schools. Bob Cranston (Manager of Parkway’s Desktop Computing), Rob Gaugh (Asst. Principal at North High School and Project Parkway Committee Chair for 1 to 1 Computing), Jason Rooks (Sr. Programmer for Web Support and Project Parkway Core Committee member), Tom Swoboda (Coordinator of Technology Integration and Project Parkway Committee Chair for Technology Integration) and Steve VanMater (Director of Technology and Project Parkway Committee Chair for Network Infrastructure) visited the North Kansas City School District NKCSD). NKCSD representatives included: Executive Director of Technology, Staff Development, High School Tech Integration Specialists (2), Network Support Manager and Desktop Support Manager. NKCSD is the same size as Parkway with 18,000 students and four regular high schools plus an alternative high school.
NKCSD goals may be unique for each high school depending on student population diversity. A primary goal was to prepare students for the college experience (i.e. use of computers, online resources, Blackboard for student collaboration, etc.).
Following are highlights of that discussion divided into general categories: Conversion, Staffing, Hardware/Software, Staff Development, problems and miscellaneous comments.
  1. Planning occurred over a three year period prior to deployment.
  2. Began in August with completion scheduled for January 2010.
  3. The high school administrators establish a rubric by which they would be approved for conversion. This rubric should be available for our use since a copy of the folder, with all of NKCSD’s planning documents, was provided during the visit.  
  4. A two week pilot was conducted in each high school due to student diversity and variances in schedules.
  5. A room, in each school, was dedicated to support functions: repairs, re-imaging, information, Netbook checkout and check-in, etc.
  6. Netbooks were checked in at the end of the year for repair and re-imaging. The computer was reissued to the same student at the beginning of school the next year. 
  7. Parental signature approval was required and deposit for insurance (annually) to cover loss, damage, etc.
  8. Computers could be purchased by the student after lease expiration.
  9. BOE members involved in district technology committee plan.
  10. The credo for the conversions was 3 Rs – rethink – redesign – restructure.
  1. A Technology Integration Specialist (TIS) was dedicated to each school for initial and on-going teacher development.
  2. A least one Computer Resource Specialist (CRS) was dedicated to each school and reported to the Technology Department.
  3. Student support personnel were trained and helped with the conversion and on-going support. Some received credit hours through the vocational centers.
  4. Students volunteering for service hours imaged computers over the summer and as needed. Could not have been completed without this resource.
  5. Permanently staffed support room served as a repair site for software and hardware issues
  1. 5,600 HP Mini Notebooks (small laptops) were leased for 4 years for their high school students.
  2. Six hour batteries were purchases as add-ons.
  3. Battery swapping stations were available through-out the school. 25 total batteries were available at each school. Charged batteries were swapped out with no questions asked.
  4. 30 Netbook spares were available for: lost, forgotten or students who’s parents did not want them to have a take home computer.
  5. Each computer had a school and student specific identification label. The carrying case could be customized to the individual student’s desires for identification purposes.
  6. Replacement power cords were available for purchase.
  7. The initial computer image was redone 3 to 4 times, primarily to address security issues.
  8. ?Would like to have a webcam on the Mini Note?
  9. District assigned and supported emails were provided to each student and only that email address was allowed for district communications.
  10. Student internet access was also filtered at home, just like at school, through a vendor supplies software product called Lightspeed.
  11. The operating system is XP with office 2003.
  12. Students could down load necessary curriculum related applications from the district application launcher.
  13. Applications identified but not limited to these: CS4 (worked if all other applications were closed),
  14. Apple computers were not considered primarily due to cost and other reasons.
  15. Teachers were required to keep a full sized laptop.
  16. Standard images, with administrative authority, were installed on all computers. If the image was corrupted, the image was installed a few times, without any questions. 
Staff Development:
  1. Rubric defined by high school administrators used to determine when a school was ready for conversion, some of which included:
    1. Building plan developed (physical room required for support center).
    2. All administrators must attend development.
    3. School instructional leaders must attend training.
    4. Student training conducted during summer.
    5. Parent training conducted during the summer (30+sessions).
  2. Staff development was based on eMints model above 5th grade.  No development planned below 2nd grade.
  3. All development materials on-line (we should have a copy of this material).
  4. Development was planned for 25% of the teachers annually over a 4 year schedule.
  5. Ongoing development is provided by dedicated TIS per school and for new teacher orientation.
  6. 60+ hours of development was provided for classroom management over a 1 year period (5 pull out days during school and 3 days over the summer. 
  7. Federal stimulus and eMints funds were use for development.
  8. Blackboard is used by teachers for collaboration since 2004.
  9. Moodle development is available and use is in the early stages.
  10. Student development required on how to be a good cyber citizen.
  11. Development over 4 years Teachers not using laptops on a regular basis must notify students in advance when they plan to use them so student will bring them to class.
  1. District was converting to Power School student information system.
  2. Stoneware is used for student and staff single single-sign-on.
  3. Still have text books but are starting to provide more online (internet) digital text book resources.
  4. Reduce printing expense to provide additional funding for other technology purchases.
  5. MOREnet also provided internet filtering (restricted to 10 sites).
  6. Did not use Skype due to bandwidth concerns.
  7. District email userIDs assigned to lock down computers. No other email allowed.
  8. Websites and school logos redesigned to prevent copy right infringement problems with professional and college sports teams.
  9. Not a lot of Sentos were used (12 sets district wide).
  10. Minimal Smart Notebooks (10).
  1. Biggest issues: Security software and lockdown of certain features. New image, both student and teacher, created at least twice.
  2. Electronic EOC testing is currently a problem due to video drivers and screen resolution.
  3. Initial security virus software was not acceptable – Lightspeed.
  4. Students leaving the district without notice and taking their computers.
The technology staff, with which we visited, was very passionate and committed to the conversion.  Many success stories but no statistics yet regarding improved student achievement.

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