At the February 2017 Board of Education meeting, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will provide a report on the timeline for the development of the Educational Technology Plan for Virginia: 2017-2022. It is anticipated that the plan will be completed by November 2017.
An important part of this development process is the solicitation of comments from teachers, instructional technology resource teachers, librarians, administrators, curriculum supervisors, professional organizations, businesses, and other members of the public. Please inform personnel in your school division, and other stakeholders, that they may review and comment on both the current 2015-2017 Addendum to the Educational Technology Plan for Virginia: 2010-2015 and the proposed outline for the Educational Technology Plan for Virginia: 2017-2022. Comments will be received through February 2017.
The VDOE is also seeking individuals who are qualified and available to participate in small focus group meetings in early March. All those interested in participating should complete the short Interest Form – Attachment A, by February 6, 2017. Please email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail form to Jean Weller at the Department of Education, P.O. Box 2120, 22nd Floor, Richmond, VA 23218. Focus group participants will be selected on the basis of interest and experience. Selected participants will be notified by February 15, 2017. Focus Group meetings will be held March 1-3, 2017 in Richmond, VA (participants will attend only one day of these meetings).
If you have questions about this process, please contact Jean Weller, Instructional Technology Specialist, Office of Technology and Virtual Learning, by email at email@example.com or by telephone at (804) 225-2825.
The Technology Services department is continuing a Google Chromebook rollout for 220 high school computers, 190 middle school computers, and 30 computers at each elementary school. These computers will immediately be ready for testing, but may be later shifted into a pilot program of the digital conversion plan.
Since 2010, over 73 schools in 43 school districts have refurbished over 11,000 computers all of which have been donated to schools, community centers, and families. With the Virginia STAR program, over 4,000 students have learned valuable IT skills in hardware, software, and problem solving. Charlie Bowman and Bryan Farmer took two of Caroline’s Virginia STAR / Makerspace Club students to the annual Virginia STAR meeting in the General Assembly Building in Richmond. Our group was able to briefly meet delegates and senators for coffee and to discuss how we have benefited from the Virginia STAR program, in hopes of continued program funding. Afterwards, the group moved to the Omni Hotel for a working lunch and to meet Keyanna Conner, State Director, Office of US Senator Mark Warner. One of our students was awarded a tablet computer.
Our IT staff are busy preparing for the upcoming testing sessions. With few computer labs, setting up and taking down laptop carts is difficult and time consuming, but our staff know what to do. IT staff will work with our school testing coordinators to ensure a functional testing environment.
We have hired an E-Rate consultant to assist with this year’s filing. We have been meeting with the consultant to develop an RFP that will attract competitive bids for a fiber-optic wide-area network.
The Technology Services department is beginning a Google Chromebook rollout for 220 high school computers, 190 middle school computers, and 30 computers at each elementary school. These computers will immediately be ready for testing, but may be later shifted into a pilot program of the digital conversion plan.
The Technology Services department is continuing to install new Polycom phones throughout the school division. Every classroom at CHS and MES will receive new phones as part of the renovation process. So, as renovations progress, Technology Services will be installing handsets in classrooms that have never had phones before. Additionally, maintaining the aging phone systems at CMS and LCES has become cost prohibitive, allowing Technology Services to expedite Polycom phone installations. Like CHS and MES, CMS and LCES will receive new Polycom phones in each classroom.
The Governor announced that the Commonwealth has awarded $6 million in School Security Equipment Grants to help ensure the safety of Virginia’s schools. The $6 million grants will pay for video monitoring systems, metal detectors, electronic-access controls, visitor-identification systems, direct communications links between schools and law enforcement agencies, and other security upgrades. Caroline County has been awarded $100,000 for Madison Elementary School and Lewis and Clark Elementary School. This is the third year in a row we have received this grant award. A local match of 25 percent of the state grant award is required.
Wow it was a busy summer! During the first weeks of August, Technology Services staff worked diligently to prepare for the arrival of teachers and students. The end of summer break was especially busy this year, having to work around the construction at the high school and Madison Elementary. We are looking forward to another progressive year.
Below are two charts that show the number of support tickets “solved” this year compared to last year and the last 5 years.