11. School Evaluation: Running Zebra’s Academy

Demographics:
Running Zebra’s Academy is considered a low income school.  Over half of our population participates in the free lunch program.  We have a diverse ethical mix between Caucasian, Hispanic, African American, and foreign exchange students.  I included this last group because we usually have between 10-15 foreign exchange students in our high school and only average about 30 students per grade level.  Our Academy is a full education program starting with kindergarten and ending with seniors.  The elementary program is rigorous, fast-paced, and a core subject centered program.  The secondary program is geared to prepare students for further education.  We have stronger requirements in order to receive a diploma, some of which include 4 years of math, 3 years of science, community service, family service, innovation projects, and apprenticeships.
Administrative Policy
Behavior: Island; Resources/Infrastructure:Island-  Creating polices and sticking with those policies would not be a strength with our administration.   In creating policies with regards to technology, we have put some in place, but depending on the day, administration sticks with it or not.
Administrative Planning
Behavior: Island; Resources/Infrastructure:Emergent- Technology planning does not happen in a formal way.  Through conversations a plan is created in an informal way.  In the spring we received an email regarding what will take place in the computer’s class.  We are also asked what devices need repaired.  However, not discussion on programs or applications are ever mentioned, nor is there a discussion amongst the entire staff.
Administrative Budgeting
Behavior: Integrated; Resources/Infrastructure:Integrated- Technology is becoming more important in the education plans of our state, therefore the administration is willing to put more money into providing more technology devices.  It is high priority that we have a low student:computer ratio compared to the other local schools.
Administrative Information
Behavior: Island; Resources/Infrastructure:Intelligence- When it comes to providing the administrative information, all staff have the ability to keep records for the school, district, and state.  However, our main Administrator likes to do some of this by hand and does not require the staff to participate.  He keeps his own records, handwritten.  Teachers are allowed to keep their own records, if they like, but do not have to.
Curricular Electronic Information
Behavior: Island; Resources/Infrastructure:Integrated-  This was a hard one.  The elementary side rarely does anything electronically, except keyboarding class.  However, the secondary side uses technology on a regular basis.  Depending on the teacher and how much they want to focus on using technology.  All of the secondary teachers are interested in the use of technology and integrating it into their curriculum but it can be frustrating depending on the ability of the technology.
Curricular Assessment
Behavior: Emergent; Resources/Infrastructure:Emergent-  The only assessments done using technology are those required by the state.  In the secondary classes, all math assessments require the use of graphing calculators and papers must be written in Google docs, beyond this, no other technology is used for assessing students.
Curricular Curriculum Integration
Behavior: Integrated; Resources/Infrastructure:Integrated- Technology is used with all subjects on the secondary level throughout the curriculum.  Math uses graphing calculators regularly and also uses spreadsheets, science has created most of the curriculum using presentations, and research is regularly done on-line as well.  All teachers are willing to learn and implement technology in the classroom.
Curricular Teacher Use
Behavior: Integrated; Resources/Infrastructure:Island-Teachers are very open and interested in learning more technology and ways to implement it in the classroom.  We have many tools yet lack the training to use the tools.
Curricular Student Use
Behavior: Island; Resources/Infrastructure:Island-  I raked both as island because students do constantly use technology but have not learned how to use it efficiently.  One obstacle the students have is where the technology works.  There are many locations where laptops do not work, or were not plugged in and so the battery dies.
Support Stakeholder Involvement
Behavior: Eminent; Resources/Infrastructure:Eminent- Our board who make the decision financially and in how are school runs, does not take part in the research for technology use.  They know we have a lot of laptops compared to other schools, but are not part of the process in researching new technology use.
Support Administrative Support
Behavior: Island; Resources/Infrastructure:Island- The administration is supportive with technology when we can explain how we will use it and how it will benefit the student’s learning.  However, he is not interested in researching and on-going planning to keep technology current and up-dated.
Support Training
Behavior: Eminent; Resources/Infrastructure:Eminent- No training is ever done as a staff or department.  If the staff is interested in technology, he/she must do the training on his/her own.
Support Technical/Infrastructure Support
Behavior: Eminent; Resources/Infrastructure:Integrated-  We have hired help for technology who is outside the building.  We have the ability to email him but few staff choose to go that route.  Part of the reason is because we do not understand what all our tech guy can and will do for us.
Connectivity (LAN)
Behavior: Island; Resources/Infrastructure:Island- We have high-speed Internet however there are pockets throughout the school where the connection is not good, slow, or unfound.  This is extremely frustrating to both staff and student.
Connectivity (WAN)
Behavior: Island; Resources/Infrastructure:Integrated-As I’ve mentioned several times now, we have the service but have no training in what it is, how we can use it and how it will benefit us.  Therefore, we do not take advantage of it’s use.
Innovation New Technologies
Behavior: Island; Resources/Infrastructure:Island-Our staff is willing to learn and train.  However, we have little to no opportunity for training, therefore teachers usually use the “old school” method.
Innovation Comprehensive Technologies
Behavior: Integrated; Resources/Infrastructure:Island-We have all kinds of technology, it is not utilized correctly because of the lack of training.  We have the ability to receive help but in many cases do not know where to start in finding it.

Summary
I would rank my school, Running Zebra’s Academy, as an island.  I see it as almost a shell.  On paper, it seems we are very technologically advanced.  We have the machines and devices.  Each teacher has a laptop for their own use connected to a SMARTboard, camera, and speakers. Also 1 or 2 computer towers in their rooms.  We also have a full computer lab (more than needed for 1 class), another ½ lab on the high school side and 2 laptop carts full of laptops counting more than a class size of computers.  The math department has graphing calculators for all students within the class and some for take-home use (please keep in mind the tiny size of our school).  If you came on campus you would see many kinds of technologies in all the classrooms.  The problem at our school is the lack of training and enthusiasm from the administration.  Because of his own fear of technology, he will support decisions as long he doesn’t have to learn them himself.  He knows the importance of utilizing technology and so supports teachers in it’s use, but because of his fear, does not encourage growth in training and working together to become more sufficient in the use of the devices that we have.  All the staff are interested in using technology.  They do not have the time to research it on their own, therefore the technology they have goes unused, or underused.

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Maturity Benchmarks

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