Utah State Board of Education Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018
Utah State Board of Education Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018
508 N. 1500 W. Marriott-Slaterville UT 84404 801-393-3900 www.venturelearning.org Utah State Board of Education Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018 Submitted to: Sarah Young, Coordinator Digital Teaching and Learning, USBE. Review One August 17, 2017 Review Two September 18, 2017 Contact: Bonni Jones Heidi Esplin Kevin Wasden Venture Academy 508 N 1500 W Marriott-Slaterville, UT 84404
Venture Academy USBE Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018 Page 1 .
Abstract Venture Academy is a K-12 charter school in Weber County that emphasizes an active, inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. We recognize that digital teaching and learning can significantly enrich the learning experience and that our students need more frequent and consistent opportunities to use digital tools in their classrooms and homes We will use the USOE Digital Teaching and Learning Grant to augment the use of digital tools in four particular ways: The mission of Venture Academy’s Digital Teaching Learning program is, first, to enable students to use digital tools to gain general knowledge, employ effective research strategies, and create high quality products Second, to enable teachers to utilize digital tools and related best practices in order to improve student learning through increased engagement, improved instruction, and broader access to digital technologies and curriculum Third, to use digital tools to facilitate college readiness through higher-order problem solving, improved portfolio development, and college exploration And, fourth to provide all students with a greater understanding of digital stewardship and the role technology can provide in serving local and global communities.
During the first three-years of this program, we will focus on building a robust Digital Teaching and Learning program in grades 9-12 With the success of this program, we will expand to grades K-8 in years 2-3 This grant will enable Venture Academy to launch an effective Digital Teaching and Learning program and to empower our students achieve the purposes stated above.
Venture Academy USBE Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018 Page 2 .
LEA OVERVIEW I RESULTS OF READINESS ASSESSMENT Venture Academy selected the North Carolina Digital Learning Progress Rubric to serve as our Readiness Assessment Our scoring sheet is attached, as well as the Rubric ( See the attached files NCDigitalrubric.pdf and NCDigitalScoringSheet-AppendixB.pdf Appendix C is copied below, which demonstrates that all required elements and data points requested by the Readiness Assessment are provided.
North Carolina Digital Learning Progress Rubric, Appendix C, Data Interpretation Guide PHASE GUIDING QUESTIONS Explore ● Do your rubric results resonate? ○ Yes We recognize in our results an unactualized, yet sincere desire to fully apply digital teaching and learning in order to support our school vision At Venture Academy, successful teaching and learning are guided by the “Five Dimensions of Student Achievement These are (1) Character Development, (2) Research and Reasoning, (3) Service to Others, (4) High Quality Products, and (5) Skills and Knowledge While digital teaching and learning will support all five dimensions, we believe that a technology-driven program focused on the dimension of Research Reasoning will deepen and accelerate learning.We also see a need to become more “student-centered” in our use of digital tools. A robust Digital Teaching and Learning program will empower both teachers and learners to succeed.
● Any surprises? Why? ○ We were pleased to see our score regarding “Communication and Collaboration While most of our results scored “early” or “developing”, our score in Communication and Collaboration was a 4 (Target We are a small school that places great emphasis on collaboration in our teaching practices. We believe our strengths in Communication and Collaboration will play a large role in helping us succeed in developing a successful Digital Teaching and Learning
Venture Academy USBE Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018 Page 3 . program at our school. ● Do you see any correlation or inconsistencies between the rubric results and other data you have? Why do you think this is the case? ○ Our results seem very consistent with the data and observations we have regarding our school We recognize the importance of Digital Teaching and Learning, but have not completely implemented many of the practices that would more fully support our school vision and goals We have developed a nearly 1:1 ration of Chromebooks to students, however, we need to improve how effectively those tools are used by teachers to support instruction and by students for effective research and reasoning We have many of the “bones” in place for an effective Digital Teaching and Learning program, and recognize the need for additional support and funding in order to fully develop this program.
Identify 3-4 questions that emerge as you review your data. ● How can we use technology to support Venture’s Five Dimensions of Student Achievement and to deepen and accelerate learning? ● What leadership structures can we put in place to provide long-term support for digital teaching and learning in our school? ● In turn, how can that leadership facilitate meaningful professional learning that supports our goals in digital teaching and learning?
● How can we remediate students who are struggling to keep up? PHASE GUIDING QUESTIONS Interpret ● What do the results mean? How would you summarize the data? ○ The results of the NC Digital Learning Plan assessment show that Venture Academy is “early” in its development of digital teaching and learning practices Our vision of how technology may deepen and accelerate learning has not been fully implemented, however, we have a desire to develop it Our faculty values communication and collaboration and will support each other and encourage one another in the development of digital teaching practices Simply stated, our digital learning initiatives are in the very early stages of development, but we have a faculty and administration that are willing and capable of fully implementing digital teaching and learning within our school and classrooms.
● What is working really well in your district What is not? ○ What is working well The cohesion and communication
Venture Academy USBE Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018 Page 4 . between Venture Academy’s faculty is perhaps its greatest strength Venture’s teachers regularly collaborate in teaching and leadership responsibilities Teachers are empowered to make important decisions regarding the use of technology within their classrooms.
○ Venture also recognizes the need for technology and has worked to establish a nearly 1:1 ration of computers to students in grades 9-12 and to provide computer labs that are available for all grades Students are also encouraged to bring their own devices (BYOD) and use them appropriately.
○ Venture also has a solid internet system that can be easily upgraded to facilitate development of a more robust Digital Teaching and Learning program. ○ Venture Academy is working toward the use of the school website, Google Classroom, and PowerSchool as an effective digital tool for teachers, parents, and students. ○ We have begun In some classes, there has been a concerted effort to utilize digital tools for instruction and assessment, however, these have been somewhat limited due to lack of effective resources.
○ What can be improved While we value digital learning, we have not fully implemented it school wide We can better integrate our vision and goals for digital teaching and learning into the core components of our school’s improvement plan. ○ Venture Academy can create more frequent and meaningful opportunities for students to “identify, evaluate, and use appropriate digital tools and resources to create, think critically, solve problems, explore relevant and authentic issues, establish reliability, communicate their ideas, and collaborate effectively We will need to assess how many students and teachers have full access to the internet outside of school and consider options to ensure that all do.
○ Venture Academy can implement a “diverse, representative school leadership team [Digital Teaching and Learning Leadership Team], consisting of school administrators, teachers, students improve digital teaching and learning by expanding digital tools for research, parents, and community members The leadership team can guide the acquisition of resources, the training of teachers, and the gathering of data to support this program and that empower teachers and students to use digital tools successfully The leadership team should ensure that all “school leaders” can serve a lead learners for digital teaching and learning practices, modeling effective use of high quality digital resources.
Venture Academy USBE Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018 Page 5 . ○ Venture can provide more effective opportunities for students to have access to digital tools that facilitate remediation and differentiation. ○ Venture Academy can become more data driven with regard to Digital Teaching and Learning. We currently only use limited data from the state level to inform our decisions regarding digital teaching and learning. This grant will make us more aware of the data, the metrics we can use to assess improvement, and how we can help our students improve their ability to learn and succeed.
○ Venture Academy can improve the use of digital resources and collections available in our school library, such as tools to digitize artifacts for their portfolios. ● What are the critical points or trends you saw in the data? ○ Perhaps the most critical point derived from the assessment is that our students need more frequent and consistent opportunities to use the appropriate digital tools in order to deepen and accelerate learning.
○ We can improve the practice of Blended Learning within our classrooms and improve our knowledge and use of “best practices” with regard to digital teaching and learning.
Although we place significant value on technology at Venture Academy, our resources are limited and our use of technology is often superficial. ○ We will need to provide or find opportunities for our faculty and administrators to pursue additional professional learning on leading digital transitions, blended learning, and communication.
○ Another critical point is the need to implement a long-term Digital Teaching and Learning leadership team that will work to support digital learning in all classrooms. ○ Our students have developed a decent understanding of Digital Citizenship, and we are trending toward even greater global awareness and digital social interaction. ● At your district, who needs to be involved in a discussion about this data How can you engage teachers and other stakeholders? ○ Initially, the discussion should include the Executive Director, Principals of the High School and Academy, and the Digital Teaching and Learning Committee (consisting initially of Ms.
Bonni Jones and Mr. Kevin Wasden, but will expand with implementation of the grant The discussion would expand to the teachers in order to seek their input regarding digital needs and practices We would share our goals and metrics with our teachers to help them understand the objectives and what role
Venture Academy USBE Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018 Page 6 . they will play By engaging teachers early in this discussion, we will help them feel more invested in the program and willing to work toward its success. Finally, the discussion should be expanded to students and their parents/guardians, as they are important stakeholders with a significant investment in the results of this initiative.
Document at least 3 takeaways from your review of your data.
● Venture Academy can create more frequent and meaningful opportunities for students to “identify, evaluate, and use appropriate digital tools and resources to create, think critically, solve problems, explore relevant and authentic issues, establish reliability, communicate their ideas, and collaborate effectively.” ● We are trending toward even greater global awareness and digital social interaction. ● We need to implement a long-term Digital Teaching and Learning leadership team that will work to support digital learning in all classrooms and ensure that student achievement increases significantly.
PHASE GUIDING QUESTIONS Act ● What does this rubric data tell you about efforts you should prioritize now Next school year? ○ Our initial efforts should focus on forming a Digital Teaching and Learning leadership team who will assume ownership of this initiative and work to ensure its long-term implementation and to create a schoolwide culture and environment that uses digital tools to deepen and accelerate student learning. ○ We should also consider cultural changes that will help the school shift toward a “culture of intellect” that focuses on student learning and achievement.
○ Upon receipt of the grant, within the first three months, the leadership team will work closely with the teachers to identify and purchase the needed digital tools and resources. ● What changes are you going to make based on this data? ○ The primary changes that will occur in the beginning will be in leadership and training, as accomplished through professional development Teachers will be taught how to use digital tools to support Research Reasoning and Skills Knowledge and how these practices can be technology-driven and student-centered.
○ Another major change will be in the school culture, placing greater emphasis on using technology in problem-based learning experiences. Culturally, we will shift to learning for
Venture Academy USBE Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018 Page 7 . understanding, and not simply knowing. ○ We will also need to change the environment in the way we talk about and use technological tools and resources, as well as offering frequent opportunities for students to use these tools in the process of learning.
● How do these data inform local policy? ○ The data has enlarged the vision of our local policy makers and given them more focus and commitment to encouraging the necessary changes to make this program work. Identify two things you should do based on the data and who in your district should be involved in next steps.
● Venture Academy can implement a “diverse, representative school leadership team [Digital Teaching and Learning Leadership Team], consisting of school administrators, teachers, students improve digital teaching and learning by expanding digital tools for research, parents, and community members This team will create the policies that will govern the program and ensure its long-term sustainability They will also refine the goals and vision of the program and implement the teacher and administrative training programs.
● Review the state level data, such as ACT and SAGE scores, in order to identify the areas of greatest need in order to guide the design and implementation of the digital teaching and learning program within our school. ● Who should be involved in the next steps The Executive Director the high school principal, the academy principal, a representative from the school board, and PHASE GUIDING QUESTIONS Share ● How should you share your interpretation of the data with staff? Parents? School board?
○ Data will be shared with the administration through regular weekly meetings and updates It will be shared with the staff through regular professional development meetings each month Data will be provided to parents through semi-annual parent meetings, the school website, and Student-Led Conferences (Parent-Teacher Conferences And finally, data will be shared with the School Board through semi-annual presentations at monthly board meetings.
○ A blog could be could be created to share information about the program, weekly updates, and tips for students and parents to increase digital learning opportunities in the home and community.
● Who should have this information?
Venture Academy USBE Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018 Page 8 . ○ The information should be available to all stakeholders. ● How can your data support current or ongoing initiatives in your district? ○ The foremost digital initiative at our school is establishing a 1:1 ratio of Chromebooks to students We have attained approximately 90% of this goal We will continue to work to complete this goal and the data derived from the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan to better use the Chromebooks to support student learning and effective teaching.
● What is your vision for getting additional input as you go through the planning process?
○ Seeking and responding to feedback from UEN ○ Seeking consultation from our IT services companies. ○ Speaking with other schools who have developed or are developing similar programs. Note how and with whom this data should be shared. ● Executive Director, Academy Principal, and School Board Updates during monthly board meetings, provided by a representative of the Digital Teaching and Learning Leadership Team.
● Principal of the High School Weekly updates, as needed, during administrative meetings Updates during monthly board meetings, provided by a representative of the Digital Teaching and Learning Leadership Team.
● Digital Teaching and Learning Leadership Team Weekly meetings ● Teachers Updates through Professional Development, as needed Regular monthly Professional Development on effective Digital Teaching and Learning. ● Students Information will be provided to students through Crew and through classrooms, relevant to the content of each class. Data relevant to Grade Level will be provided as needed through Grade Level Crew.
● Parents Data will be provided through annual parent meetings, Student Led Conferences, and online forums such as the website and the school’s Digital Teaching and Learning blog. PHASE GUIDING QUESTIONS Collect ● What local data do you already have available? ○ ACT scores and trends for eleventh grade students for each school year since 2013. ○ SAGE scores for each year, with information on the percent of students proficient in each grade in ELA, Mathematics, and Science.
○ Annual Grade Point Averages ○ Graduation Rates ● What new data do you need to collect?
Venture Academy USBE Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018 Page 9 . ○ The frequency of student-centered activities and lessons in our classrooms. ○ Digital tools and resources that are vetted to help students with learning, research and reasoning We also need best practices for using them. ● What about qualitative data? ○ We need to know how students think about their academic abilities.
○ We need to know students perceptions about their learning, what is working and what is not. List other data you already have available and additional data that you need. ● Data we have: ○ ACT scores and trends for eleventh grade students for each school year since 2013. ○ SAGE scores for each year, with information on the percent of students proficient in each grade in ELA, Mathematics, and Science. As our Digital Teaching and Learning program will begin with grades 9-12, we will focus on proficiency levels from 8th grade in order to assess improvement in each grade.
○ Annual Grade Point Averages ○ Graduation Rates ● Data we need: ○ Frequency and types of digital teaching and learning practices currently being implemented in each classroom ○
Venture Academy USBE Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018 Page 10 . II INVENTORY OF CURRENT TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES An inventory of Venture Academy’s current technology resources, as provided by UEN, is included in the attached files Please see file “VentureAcademy_InventoryJan2016.xlsx.” The inventory demonstrates an effort by Venture Academy to provide a 1:1 ratio of computers to students in grades 9th through 12th At the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, Venture Academy had provided computers for approximately 90% of the students in grades 9 through 12.
In kindergarten through 8th grade, computer labs are provided Our current inventory of computers will be integrated into our three-year proposed program--especially in grades 9th through 12th, where we will focus our initial efforts to develop this program With regard to software, Venture relies heavily on services provided by Google, such as Gmail, Drive, Documents, and Classroom We will continue to provide these services for our students and faculty These will be fully integrated into our Digital Teaching and Learning program.
Venture Academy has also directed significant time and resources into making the internet accessible to all students within the school Our internet service is provided by the Utah Education Network In addition to UEN’s services, we have built in additional security filters and monitoring programs to help ensure students are protected online We will continue to work closely with our private network service provider, H-Wire Technology Solutions, to ensure that students and teachers have access to the internet from all instructional spaces and commons areas and that our network system is capable of providing the services required for our technologies and programs Our Digital Teaching and Learning program will utilize our network and internet
Venture Academy USBE Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Application FY 2018 Page 11 . services as its backbone These services can be upgraded easily to meet the needs of new digital tools and resources. By integrating our current inventory of digital tools and services into this program, we will be able to direct the bulk of the grant toward more advanced technologies and services that will support deeper, accelerated learning.
We will continue to participate in future inventory efforts with UETN as requested.