When the Superintendent and I visited Albemarle School District in Charlottesville, Virginia, we noticed a few things that we wanted to bring back to our home school district. One of those things was a Sound and Music Recording Studio for students. We noticed that kids were so passionate and enthusiastic about the opportunity to create something of their own. We even had the opportunity to speak to a few kids who talked about how much the studio has helped them in their overall development. Some students are in love with music but don't necessarily participate in band or choir, so this has become a way for them to express themselves and show off their talent.
The Christine Vettese Sound and Music Recording Studio
I knew that we had some of those similar stories here in our district and I wanted to ensure that we were offering our students a way to be creative and produce something that they could share with the world. It is almost impossible for a kid with no real income to afford studio time in a quality production studio, so that is where we can help. In the first week of opening the doors of the studio, we had several students sign up to use it. There is some pretty sophisticated equipment and software in there so it is taking some time for students to get the hang of production but the discovery of it all is an important part of the journey. I can't wait to see the talent of our students shine through this experiential process.
On Sunday, December 11, our district will be receiving an update from Infinite Campus. After this update, you will see a new report option in your index under Reports (Grade Book). The purpose of this new report is to help teachers further analyze student grades on any given assignment. Below are the release notes from Infinite Campus on how to get to this report and generate it.
Last year, our Tech Team introduced Breakout EDU to a group of our administrators. Since then, we have provided several professional development opportunities for teachers and para-professionals, which has resulted in many games taking place in the classroom!
In our district, we keep our boxes in a central location and we set the lock codes before delivering them to the teacher. This helps us minimize the chance of breaking a lock, or worse yet, getting locked out of a lock (do we even have to mention the joys of owning a directional lock?)! We keep a Google Sheet that allows us to have a running list of the codes used and the teacher who used them just in case we have to go back and double check a setting. This also allows us to see how the Breakout EDU boxes are being used across the district. Below are several graphs that show a monthly use by building and subject area.
So far this year, we have been busy in classrooms with Breakout after Breakout and have several more on the calendar for the month of December!
Summer 2016 was filled with many technological infrastructure upgrades. These upgrades will further enhance the district's connectivity while providing a more secure environment. Our network backbone is now capable of transmitting ten times the amount of data from our previous environment. This will translate to a future proofed network infrastructure that will carry us into the next few years.
Along with increased transmission rates, we further secured our internal network with new firewall and web filter solutions. We are better able to see and drop malicious activity on our network before it enters or exits our network. The new web filter solution allows us to get better feedback on search trends and block and log nefarious keyword searches. We will continue our work to provide great support to our students and building staff and we strive to make our network a great example in our community.
Top: New Core Switch and the iBoss Web filter
Bottom: Newly racked server environment with our Sophos Firewall solution