Access to technology and the internet is essential for the successful roll-out of this plan. The Herkimer Central School District is committed to ongoing planning and implementation of district technologies to ensure equitable access for staff and students. The team has initiated plans that are mindful of the variety of student home situations that may exist in terms of access to reliable internet and computers.
- The Herkimer Central School District recently gathered data and asked teachers and families to identify their level of access to devices and high-speed broadband from their residence. Respondents indicated that approximately 10% of student families and 5% of staff either had unreliable or no internet access at their residence.
- The district will continue to assess the ongoing needs of our families for technology and connectivity through surveys, interviews, school outreach, and other tools as needed. In the event that students and/or teachers do not have access to the internet, either due to lack of access or lack of requisite devices, the district will take the necessary steps to meet their needs wherever possible.
- The district also commits to:
- Maintain an inventory of technology equipment and other assets in order to identify which students, families, and staff have district assets in their possession.
- Continue to research, procure, manage and/or maintain hardware, software, licenses, learning management systems, etc. to support and improve virtual instruction and student engagement.
- Identify professional learning needs for teachers and continue to support their development of skills and pedagogy for a virtual learning environment.
- Provide and articulate a technology support system for parents, students, and staff to report technical issues and/or request help or assistance while engaged in remote learning.
- Keep students safe and protect their privacy while using online and digital tools, through content filtering and activity monitoring software.
The Herkimer Central School District will provide all students with access to learning materials and resources in multiple formats, wherever possible. In the event students do not have sufficient access to devices and/or high-speed internet, the district will provide the students with alternate methods to access materials and instruction, i.e. pick up materials at school, drop off materials to students’ homes, etc.
Further, the district will support teachers through professional development and coaching on pedagogical methods that enable students to participate in multiple ways, so that they can demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in remote or blended models through the use of both synchronous (i.e. Google Meet or other web conferencing tool) and asynchronous technologies (i.e. Google Classroom or other LMS). The district will also schedule opportunities to connect with families to educate them on how to use the technologies and connect to the instructional activities.