Auburn School District

Auburn School District

The district is rolling out providing more devices to move to a 1:1 model, utilize LMS tools to organize content and student data, implement professional development for technology and use technology to facilitate communication and collaboration.

State: Washington Number of Students: 15,777
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 53.0%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: 16.4%

School Context 

Funding: The Auburn School District received $40 million from the federal Race to the Top grant in 2012 to be divided among a consortium of districts (The Road Map District Consortium) in the south Seattle area to improve education in high-need schools and communities. The minimum grant requirements include a focus on personalized learning, performance evaluations, implementing CCSS, and reporting school data and financial data transparently. Over $1 million has already been allocated to Auburn for math, science, and ELL instructional tools as well as professional development for principals and teachers. The district also received $22 million from a local tax (“Tech Levy”) in February 2014 to provide anytime, online curriculum access for students and parents, increase access to laptops or tablets for students, edtech tools and training for teachers, digital literacy curriculum, parent communication tools, Wifi in each building, cameras and security equipment. This technology levy is slated to last for 6 years (until 2020).

Achievement: Auburn’s goal is for all students to meet or exceed standards and graduate on time, prepared for college and careers. To achieve this, the district will implement professional learning communities, create aligned school improvement plans, adopt the Center for Educational Leadership’s Five Dimensions of Teaching, and integrate instructional technology.

Community: Auburn’s goal is to develop strong relationships between all of the district’s employees and all of the diverse members of the community that the district serves. Specifically, Auburn is focused on promoting cultural awareness (e.g. Native American Education meetings) and responsiveness.

Resources: Auburn’s goal is to align its resource needs to its strategic goals and then prioritize them accordingly. Resources should support the implementation of safe learning environments as well as academic remediation and acceleration.

State of Technology

Tech Plan: In November 2013, the district convened a technology committee to make recommendations on four areas that the district could target with technology that would yield results for student learning. It recommended providing more devices and moving toward a 1:1 model, utilizing LMS tools to organize content and student data, implementing ongoing professional development around technology and using technology to facilitate communication and collaboration.

4:1 Ratio: Auburn recently achieved its goal of providing one computer for every four students in the district. In high school, it provides one computer for every three students. The district has a history of using desktop computers operating Windows OS. However, it is increasingly using Chromebooks at several sites, along with iPads.

Infrastructure: The IT team is working on updating the district’s technological infrastructure. Fiber-optic cables have been added to all but one school. The remaining school will most likely be updated in spring 2015. In addition, the network is being refreshed every few years on a rotating basis so that the infrastructure remains maintained and up to date.

Digital Communication: The district is increasing its online communication, specifically with parents through social media, e-newsletters and its SIS’s parent portal called Family Access. Over the past few years, more than two million communications (in multiple languages) have been sent out to the community through e-newsletters, social media and Family Access.

Changing Demographics: The district has undergone a dramatic change in its student population. Over the past few years, the percentage of students living in poverty rose from 30% to 60%. Therefore, the district leadership has stressed the need for students to have more than one year of academic growth and set the target at 1.5 years because one year won’t be enough to catch them up. The district focuses deeply on standards, data and specific learning targets. It uses Dibbles assessments regularly and administer MAP tests three times a year to track student growth.

Ahead of the Curve: In order to accelerate student growth, the district put a big priority on making advanced courses available to students at a young age. It offers high school courses in middle school so that students may earn high school credit. It also has seen a big increase in enrollment in Advanced Placement courses, from 1,250 to 2,500 over the past couple of years.

Data Details: Auburn teachers can apply to be a part of the teacher leadership academy, a year long program for a cohort of 50 teachers. In this program, teachers are taught how to use data and other edtech tools to advance student achievement. Each teacher in this cohort also receives a Chromebook.

Tech Needs & Requirements

The district prefers cloud-based applications. The district is looking for a central place to put data so that teachers don’t have to go to different sources to see how their students are progressing. Currently it is piloting My School Data at five different schools. Also, the district is hoping to develop a mobile app to engage parents and community members.


Google Apps: The district is working to spread and implement the use of Google apps across the district.

*Content From 2014

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