Religious and Ethnic Demographics (ZipSkinny.com demographic information for 56672)
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Open sources like Moodle could help save funds as we remove ourselves from the Infinity program and start placing our own classes online. The move to digital enhancement should help students with understanding of course content.
OER funding strategies would work well here to provide cutting edge curriculum without burdening taxpayers. There are many funding models available with OER’s too including a tech. referendum sold as educationally innovative.
As class sizes shrink then reduction in force changes are sure to follow. Fewer teachers means fewer elective courses. By creating digital courses students could take electives that may otherwise not be available as the teacher, classes available and student pool shrinks.
ISD 118 has great technology resources (in hardware and software not implementation or use) for a small district. If Longville Elementary was closed, its resources could be used at Northland High and Remer Elementary. This may ease financial tax burden of those who don’t support initiatives in this district.
Teacher training for incorporation of digital learning may provide career benefits for teachers being reduced because of economic and student population concerns. Teachers would also be able/may be able to “own” their classes. Being allowed ownership may also result in higher quality courses being created in a competitive atmosphere.
There are many reasons Native American students affect our attendance scores with NCLB—some cultural, some environmental, and some distance. Digital learning may increase attendance by making class materials available 24-7. If a student’s progress and time can be tracked digitally it may provide better evidence than in school data.
Our school district has Little Sand Group Home in it and these students often do not begin their school years here. This often creates a shortfall in funds. We offer an alternative school and it would be nice if they were able to access online learning courses. Having these students take these courses as well as offering out in house courses to other districts would increase educational funding for ISD 118.
Cypres money was money granted to schools for software and hardware by Microsoft. That well of cash has now expired. My research into open education resources has revealed sources of free or cheap hardware and software that are available for educational use.
Making the change to a four day week and requiring digital enhancement of all classes or offering digital electives that we cannot currently offer would address both the rising cost of transportation and an incorrect idea about rigorous education. Students would have the ability to stay home but remain current with their classes.
Of the current challenges that have been addressed here by digital strategies the biggest challenge to overcome may be selling the idea to staff and preparing staff for the change. We have at least 6 teachers who could train the technical aspects of using Moodle. We have at least three teachers who would have Master’s Degrees in curriculum development, curriculum and technology, reading specialist, or who would have online teaching certification. The training of staff could be done by these people over the summer and during the school year.