Merced City School board gets update on district’s technology plan

03/17/2014 5:50 PM

03/17/2014 7:44 PM

Board members have been assured that the Merced City School District is on schedule in its efforts to train teachers to use computer technology associated with the new Common Core State Standards.

At last week’s meeting of the Board of Education, district officials Paula Heupel and Greg Blount reported on their Technology Implementation Plan. The board approved the plan last December.

Board member Susan Walsh said the board was “very concerned” with how the training of faculty in the use of technology was progressing. She said board members asked about 30 questions and she feels confident they have a solid plan.

“I’m glad we’re moving ahead,” Walsh said. “We’re pretty excited about it. We have to get our students prepared for the technology world.”

A considerable amount of the technology training will take place this summer, board member Gene Stamm said.

A push has been made to get everyone trained, he said, including principals, assistant principals and learning directors familiar with the new Google Chromebook devices as well as the online state achievement testing, which begins this spring.

Using state funding, the district has bought about $1 million worth of Chromebooks so each student will have one.

At Tuesday’s session, the board approved first and second readings of a new job description for teachers on special assignment. Two middle school teachers and two to three elementary school teachers will be hired to provide support so technology can be integrated into the Common Core instructional curriculum.

Board member Adam Cox said he is excited to see all of the logistics of Common Core and technology training put down on paper and taking place. The training is expected to finish by the end of the year.

The district is on the right track to keep up with changing technology requirements, board member Darrell Cherf said.

“We will continue to learn and grow,” he said. “It’s a pretty good timeline and we’re moving in the right direction.”

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