CCPS

It's no secret that technology has changed the education landscape in the past decade. Gone are the days of heavy books as laptops and tablets have flooded schools.

Christian County Public Schools have tried to stay ahead of the curve with technology. The Kentucky Department of Education makes templates that mandates how each district will advance its technology in the coming years.

This year, CCPS didn't receive the template from KDE until March. The new technology plan runs from 2019-21. CCPS has created an additional goal to approach technology in the future.

"Our goal … will be to include students and members of the community in this vision the next time the planning phases go through," said Tracy Pelletier at the May 16 school board meeting, retiring CCPS district technology coordinator.

She added that the goal is to work for the students, so they should be a big part of the planning.

As Pelletier and her replacement, Jason Wilson, looked through the previous year's technology plan, they found some areas that needed improvement. For instance, the pair found that a larger focus needs to be placed on technology integration into the classrooms.

The goal is to move beyond using technology only for assessments and to use it for lesson and instructional enhancement as well.

One of the highlights of the previous educational technology plan was that every technological goal CCPS set for 2018-19 were met.

The district is also looking for funds for new security cameras to fill dead spots in some of the schools' camera systems.

"We know there is a deficit there at each school…," Pelletier said. "Some of them have the old analog cameras, so we're going to have to set aside a budget line item…"

One of the weakest areas for security cameras is at the alternative school, she said.

"I think we have come up with a plan on getting that completed," she said.

Among other plans for the future, the district will continue to leverage Kentucky Education Technology System and E-rate funding in the coming years. E-rate programs provide discounts to assist schools in funding affordable internet and telecommunications services.

"We've got several projects that we receive funding for, for E-rate this year," Wilson said.

Among other projects, the district will add a dedicated fiber internet line in the Christian County High School gym this summer to replace old cables with some of the E-rate funds. Each E-rate project must be approved by KDE.

"We also were able to purchase and begin replacing and refurbishing some of the battery backups that are on our network throughout different schools," Wilson said. "That allows us … if there was a power outage or power surge, to protect our data and protect our system."

The district will also work to buy more Google Chromebook computers to integrate technology in the classrooms. Along with the computers the district will train more teachers in Google classroom learning management system.

"This is something that is near and dear to me," Wilson said. "Getting technology in the hands of our students and using it as a tool to enhance learning, not just as a replacement for a paper and pencil."

Reach Jon Russelburg at 270-887-3241 or jrusselburg@kentuckynewera.com

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