Sunday, April 19, 2009

Revving up for a big summer!

With everything being frozen and all funds being swept up to meet the mid-year budget reductions, the movement on getting all of our classrooms up and going has been slowed.  I guess the good news is that it has not been stopped.  Our greatest priority is getting the two classrooms at each school implemented.  At this point we have nearly half of them completed or in construction.  We now have a purchase vehicle in place and all he remaining rooms will be done prior to school beginning in September.  For those teachers who have not seen anything, this has to be extremely frustrating, as they have been given one date after another for completion, only to have the rug pulled out from underneath them.  On the positive side, the rooms are planned much better and the resulting product will be far more usable in the big picture.


They are just finishing up Glenknoll and Yorba Linda Middle has just had the last room finalized. We now have two schools that are complete.  The electricity is being installed at Valadez this week and that campus should be finished very shortly.  The good news here is that the initial five-year installation plan has been collapsed to 18 months.  By September of 2010, all classrooms will be smart classroom ready.


After looking at a number of factors, a list of schools was compiled for summer completion.  They are: YLHS, Tynes, Woodsboro, Brookhaven, Sierra Vista, Ruby, Bryant Ranch, Glenview, Mable Paine, El Dorado High, Lakeview, and Van Buren.  The bid for Sierra Vista and Brookhaven has already been completed and approved by the board and construction will begin there before the end of school this year.  Three other schools will be board approved at the May 12th meeting, so we are now moving very quickly.  You might remember that originally we were planning to get all schools done over 5 years and our target now is to get them all done in 18 months. 


We had originally set out to get 2 classrooms at each school completed during this school year.  We will not meet this goal, as the process has been extremely challenging.  We did manage to get almost half of these classrooms done during the year (albeit very late for some of them!), and will complete all of them by the beginning of school.  Although these teachers did get two days of training, they will need to be trained on the new software to be effective.  We look to having them join the summer training.


While this summer schedule will get each classroom in these schools smart classroom ready, we still need to equip the classrooms and give teachers the tool they need to be successful.  Robert Marzano’s recent research ( found that teachers who got professional development more than doubled the progress of their counterparts using interactive technology.  We have set up a series of two half-day workshops over the course of the summer that will allow any teacher who wants to, to get the training and support to be successful.  The summer schedule will be released very shortly!


During the 2009-2010 school year, we are planning to complete the construction on another 9 schools, and we will have a training schedule to support those teachers as 

1 comment:

Jennie Bremer said...

I just want to express how impressed I have been with the staff I have met from Valadez. Craig and I volunteered to train their staff and they were so postive, upbeat and understanding of the delays. I can't wait to see what a Smart School looks like. What a great Valadez spirit!