South Orangetown Central School District

District Technology Plan

Executive Summary

The South Orangetown Central School District’s Technology Plan serves as the strategic framework by which the district will plan for and implement technology.

Technology plays an integral role in supporting 21st century learning skills for today’s information based society.  Students are required to be skilled in the use of technology, have a strong foundation in information literacy, and become self-motivated life-long learners.

This plan provides a clear and simple strategic vision for the use of technology to support teaching and learning.  The plan is built upon the educational principles and technology standards espoused by the following:

  • New York State Education Department
  • NYS Curriculum and Technology Standards
  • National Education Technology Standards
  • National Education Technology Plan
  • School 2.0 Initiative

The plan involves ongoing curriculum review; support for professional growth; and continued development and implementation of best practices in the use of technology to support teaching and learning.

The South Orangetown Central School District’s Technology Plan is compliant with the following core elements:

  • The plan establishes clear goals and a realistic strategy for using information technology to improve education or library services.
  • The plan provides a professional development strategy to ensure that staff members know how to use technologies to support teaching and learning.
  • The plan continually assesses the state of the technology infrastructure, hardware, software, and other services to ensure it supports teaching and learning.
  • The plan describes a budget for acquisition and maintenance of the district hardware, software, professional development, and other services that supports the district’s technology vision.
  • The plan outlines an evaluation process that enables the school district to monitor progress toward the specified instructional goals.

The South Orangetown Central School District’s Technology Plan reflects the collaboration and input from the Board of Education, District Administration, District Technology Committee, faculty members, students and community residents.

District Mission Statement

In a rapidly changing world, the South Orangetown school community affirms its positive vision of the future by providing a safe and caring environment where the excitement of teaching and learning is shared by all, and where we encourage and nurture the uniqueness of each child.

Through diverse and challenging programs, we promote high academic standards, creative and critical thinking, self-respect and respect for others, and acceptance of our responsibilities in a global society.  We are committed to fostering a love of learning in our students.

Technology Vision

The world is rapidly changing and students must be educated to adapt, respond and flourish in this dynamic environment.  All appropriate tools should be utilized to advance student learning and to achieve excellence in education.  The learner’s ability to apply certain technologies must be considered part of the “toolbox.”

Technology is not only a tool, but also a discipline to be taught and learned.  Part of the educational mission should be to prepare students to be successful citizens of a changing landscape that will increasingly rely on technological solutions to problem solving and to meeting the challenges in everyday life of an information and technologically driven global community.

With this mission in mind, the school community must explore, evaluate and incorporate, on a continuing basis, those technologies that are found to support, enhance and stimulate these goals.

The Technology Department provides the instructional, technical and administrative support necessary to make that goal a reality in our District.  Our staff is responsible for providing a reliable network for SOCSD users and technical assistance in the areas of hardware repair, network administration and database support. We also provide curriculum support and professional development for teachers, administrators and clerical staff.

The staff collaborates regularly with professionals at other schools, and attends conferences to further their professional expertise. The staff have a diverse range of talents and expertise that facilitate their ability to work with the faculty and staff in South Orangetown.

South Orangetown Technology Committee

The South Orangetown Technology Committee is a standing committee comprised of teachers, students, administrators, parents and community members to explore emerging technologies and curricula to evaluate their relevance to the district.  The committee is responsible for ensuring that the District stays current with new and emerging technologies and monitors the district progress towards its goals for the use of technology.

The District Technology Committee is charged with the mission of developing, revising and updating the district’s strategic technology plan.  The committee is chaired by the Director of Technology and assesses the needs of the students, faculty members and the community.

Technology Committee

  • George Brady (Chair), Director of Technology
  • Dr. Brian Culot, Assistant Superintendent
  • Juliet Gevargis-Mizimakoski, Building Administrator
  • Karen Ramirez, Building Administrator
  • Marc Eckert, Instructional Tech Coach
  • Randi Nerkizian, WOS Tech Teacher
  • Kim Guzas, CLE Tech Teacher
  • Jacob Tanenbaum, CLE Tech Teacher
  • Kathleen Moore, TZHS Tech Teacher
  • Yu Bong Ko, Teacher (Secondary)
  • Lois Parker-Hennion, Librarian
  • Patty Eyer, Librarian
  • Kim Landgraff, Librarian
  • TJ Mignone, Parent
  • Joey Gottlieb, Parent

South Orangetown Technology Goals

The South Orangetown Central School District will use the following goals to guide our work towards achieving our technology vision.

Goal 1 (Student Goal)
Students will use technology as a tool in all aspects of the curriculum to build understandings from the earliest practical point. The use of technology will support critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication.

Use science, technology, engineering, art & math (STEAM) to further the educational plan of the district and to improve the quality of teaching and learning and promote the integration of STEAM in the curriculum.

Goal 2 (Community Goal)
Promote the legal, moral, safe and ethical use of technology by the South Orangetown community. Make technology resources and learning experiences available to the whole community to stimulate lifelong learning and maximize the utilization of technology resources.  Encourage educational partnerships with local community members.

Goal 3 (Teacher Goal)
Advance teachers’ technological competencies and provide continual professional development and opportunities for collaboration.  This equips teachers to use technology to create a student centered environment that enhances the learning process.  Continue to explore ways to use technology to customize the curriculum to meet students’ needs.

Goal 4 (Financial Goal)
Commit resources to acquire and support technology in our schools.  Evaluate technology to ensure that it supports the teaching and learning process while aligning to district goals.

Technology Goal 1 – Student

Students will use technology as a tool in all aspects of the curriculum to build understanding from the earliest practical point. The use of technology will support critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication.

Use science, technology, engineering, art & math (STEAM) to further the educational plan of the district and to improve the quality of teaching and learning and promote the integration of STEAM in the curriculum.

What do we hope to achieve with this goal?
There should be a direct correlation between curriculum development and the use of technology. The technological skill levels of students should be elevated to the point where they become producers rather than consumers of information and technology.

How does this goal relate to our vision?
This technology goal aligns with our district’s core goal which is to provide students with skills for the 21st century. We believe that every appropriate tool and application should be made available and utilized to advance learning for all students.

How do we track progress towards this goal?
We will implement and assess the technology curriculum that parallels and supports the core curriculum with specific, progressive, and measurable skills at each grade level. Students will infuse more technology into their day-to-day learning process when applicable. This will be assessed through parent, staff, and student surveys. Teachers will provide opportunities for students to utilize technology to enhance learning. All stakeholders will assume responsibility for implementing our technology goals.

Technology Goal 2 – Community

Promote the legal, moral, safe and ethical use of technology by the South Orangetown community. Make technology resources and learning experiences available to the whole community to stimulate lifelong learning and maximize the utilization of technology resources. Encourage educational partnerships with local community members. We will increase the adult education offerings in technology both through the Continuing Education Program and in-district community offerings in collaboration with the PTA.

What do we hope to achieve with this goal?
To encourage the safe and ethical use of technology throughout the entire community while providing more opportunities for learning. Pursue expanding community partnerships to enhance our offerings.

How does this goal relate to the district technology plan?
We will promote the appropriate use of technology to achieve excellence in education for the betterment of the community by facilitating more opportunities for local involvement.

How do we track progress towards this goal?
We will assess progress through attendance at community events and the quality and quantity of these offerings. We will analyze usage data of our district web presence and other tools. We will also analyze community survey data to further achieve this goal.

Technology Goal 3 – Teacher

Advance teachers’ technological competencies and provide continual professional development and opportunities for collaboration.  This equips teachers to use technology to create a student centered environment that enhances the learning process.  Continue to explore ways to use technology to customize the curriculum to meet students’ needs.

What do we hope to achieve with this goal?
We will expand upon teachers’ existing technological competencies through targeted professional development to meet their individual learning goals.

How does this goal relate to the district technology plan?
In a dynamic learning environment technology competencies are constantly changing requiring ongoing professional development in this area.

How do we track progress towards this goal?
We will measure the number of technology course offerings and attendance. We will also evaluate the use and effectiveness of software applications and online resources whenever possible. Staff development should allow time for teachers to not only learn the technology, but also to integrate it into the curriculum.

There will be numerous and pertinent staff development courses on technology for teachers, including opportunities for articulation and collaboration.

Technology Goal 4 – Financial

Commit resources to acquire and support technology in our schools that are accessible to all stakeholders. Evaluate technology to ensure that it supports the teaching and learning process while aligning to district goals. Pursue grants from public and private sources to expand technology offerings while minimizing the impact on the school budget.

What do we hope to achieve with this goal?
Sustainable availability and performance of technology applications, resources, and tools to enhance teaching and learning. Timely technology support to ensure resolution of disruptions that impede instruction. Stay apprised of new technology trends and how they are affecting classroom instruction and student achievement. Continue to expand and update technology offerings in a fiscally prudent manner.

How does this goal relate to the district technology plan?
The foundation of the plan aims to provide equitable and relevant learning opportunities that involve the use of technology.

How do we track progress towards this goal?
Evaluate, replenish, or update the technology inventory and programs across the district. Administer a community-wide survey to receive input at all levels and use data collection to evaluate effectiveness of technology. Successfully obtain outside funding sources to enhance our technology infrastructure and programs.

Professional Development

South Orangetown Central School District’s Professional Development program is focuses on professional in-service programs, turnkey training, peer collaboration, and the transformative use of technology to impact instruction.

District faculty members participate in variety professional development activities designed to develop their ability to use technology to support student learning.  Faculty members have opportunities to take classes during superintendent’s conference days, after school for credit, or during the summer.

Professional Development opportunities include the following activities:

  • Staff-led workshops on instructional technology integration for in-service credit.
  • Professional in-service courses provided by the Rockland Teachers Center, Rockland BOCES and the Lower Hudson RIC Model Schools.
  • On-site professional development institutes for curriculum design and training in administrative productivity skills.
  • Independent and collaborative professional growth projects.

Technology Support

Building level technology contacts provide the first level of support. They are responsible for supporting the immediate needs of both students and teachers.  The building level technology contacts receive training on basic troubleshooting and integration of technology into the classroom.

Lower Hudson RIC on-site technicians provide second level technical support. They are responsible for supporting the network infrastructure, desktops and peripherals.  The LHRIC technicians receive training throughout the year on issues and topics related to technology support.

The Lower Hudson RIC has a Networking Support department of over (85) technicians that serve as an additional resource pool of technology expertise that the local on-site technicians can benefit from.

Administration and Evaluation of the Plan

The implementation of a strategic technology initiative requires regular evaluation to ensure it goals continue to be appropriate and progress towards the goals is sustained. The South Orangetown Technology Committee will be responsible for reviewing and amending of the District’s Technology Plan to ensure it remains contemporary and viable in the ever-changing world of educational technology.

The Technology Committee will regularly review new and emerging technologies and assess their applicability to support of teaching and learning. In addition, the Technology Committee will solicit input of the various stakeholder groups in the development of this plan to ensure a collaborative effort is employed.

The Technology Committee will provide feedback for critical issues such as acceptable usage policy, code of conduct, copyright, Internet guidelines, equity, and standards for staff and students

The Technology Committee will review the Long Range Technology Plan and conduct an evaluation to gauge the level of success of the plan in relation to:

  • District Technology Goals
  • Professional development
  • Correlation with curriculum and instruction
  • Equity and access to technology
  • Technological competencies
  • Emerging technologies
  • Technology needs assessment
  • Formulation of technology related cost for implementation

Lastly, the District employs a number of survey instruments to monitor and assess the school community and our use of instructional technology to support teaching and learning. The District contracts with an outside survey company to conduct a Climate Survey that is administered to students, parents and staff.  This survey has items that assess technology use and satisfaction. Internally our Professional Development Committee surveys staff yearly to develop professional development opportunities that will be offered to our staff.