Tech Report

Date: November 21st, 2011
To: Michael Green
From: Steve Rippl
Subject: Tech Dept. Executive Summary

On the helpdesk front things have now settled down to their more usual tempo, the guys have cleared the backlogs and are able to address things more as they arise.  We had also been plagued by a bug in our thin-client servers that was causing them to freeze up regularly.  We load balance them so that if one server is down in some way clients connect to the others, so this wasn't actually affecting our user's experience, but it was proving very frustrating to us!  Fortunately, after applying enough updates we have managed to move past the problem and things are stable once again. In general all this means our department is able to give more attention to some of the longer term planning and projects once again, which is helpful.

One piece of planning we're currently engaged in is integrating the State's new technology standards into what is taught and assessed.  The State has produced a pretty extensive set of Standards across grades 3-12 which they would like assessed through whatever classroom based assessments (CBSs) we're already doing.  This has coincided with moves to push some elements of the Middle School Tech curriculum down to the Intermediate School which will free up some instructional time, providing a good opportunity to look at what we're doing currently and how we might improve it.  We currently have Tim Brown, Jeff Flanagan, Candice Shepherd and the Middle School Social Studies teachers involved, although it may end up broadening out as we try to develop a common set of concepts and language around the technology that teachers can reinforce in various contexts.  The work will begin around the Intermediate and Middle School grades and them move up and down from there as we find appropriate and useful.

Lastly we have been continuing the expansion of Sips in the form of a Middle School counselors report that helps track failing kids, refinements for LRA/TEAM student progress monitoring and preparing a Spanish language version of the report card for the Primary School.