Mid 1506917255

Baltimore County Public Schools

The district is working on refining personalized and blended learning strategies. With their “Lighthouse Schools,” the focus is to create various types of learner-centered environments where students have choices around what and how they learn.

State: Maryland Number of Students: 112,139
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 45.1%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: 4.5%

School Context

Raising Academics: BCPS is focused on raising academic achievement through Common Core-aligned curriculum.

Getting Positive: The district works hard to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment by providing support services forstudents, implementing early behavior interventions and employing safety and security measures at each school.

Communication: Maintain and expand two-way communication for all stakeholders, including staff, families and partnerships.

Tech + Teachers: To support future growth, the district is focused on recruiting, supporting, evaluating and retaining staff, as wellas building a technology infrastructure for data management so that data can be used to make better/informed decisions.


State of Technology

Big Device Plans: BCPS has big plans when it comes to technology and theyare clearly and methodically rolling those plans out. The district has startedwith building up its infrastructure and wireless network, which will be installedin every school by the end of this year. But they won’t stop there. At the endof the 2013-14 school year, the districts provided devices to every teacher.The next step will be to rollout 1:1 devices to students in grades 1-3 in 2015-16. By 2017-18 all students should have access to devices, digital curriculumand wireless at every school. The device of choice: HP EliteBook.

Shining Lighthouse: Thanks to the Maryland Digital Innovation Fund, BCPShas been able to start a pilot group of elementary schools working on refiningpersonalized and blended learning strategies. These schools are dubbed“Lighthouse Schools.” The focus of the pilots are to create various typesof learner-centered environments where students have choices aroundwhat and how they learn. These ten elementary schools will work todevelop strategies on their own and in collaboration with each other thatwill eventually be shared out with the greater BCPS community. To sharethe work they are doing, the teachers and students involved in the pilotsshare reflections and resources on the Lighthouse School blog. The districtis also working to organize visits between Lighthouse Schools and with over100 other elementary schools in the district to begin spreading innovation.Currently, these schools have a 1:1 computer to student ratio in grades 1-3,and will be expanding that next year to grades 4-5. Popular tools used in theLighthouse Network include Wixie, Discovery Education Streaming, ReadingWonders, BrainPop and PebbleGo. The district will expand the LighthouseNetwork to an additional six middle schools in the 2015-16 school year.

Developing ELA Curriculum: In 2013, BCPS received $800,000 in fundingto create a digital ELA curriculum to be piloted by grade 1-3 students atEdmondson Heights, Lansdowne, and Halstead Academy elementary schoolsin 2014-2015. The curriculum is a comprehensive Common Core-aligned ELAtool that supports blended and personalized learning. The curriculum alsoutilizes materials from McGraw Hill’s Reading Wonders resources.

Landing a 365: The district has plans to roll out Office 365 across the districtin 2014-15. The rollout began November 2014 and the district plans tocontinue until all staff, students and parents have access. The district hopesto combine its LMS system, BCPS One, with Microsoft 365 to increase the levelof collaboration and provide students a one stop shop for their work.

BCPS One: The district has partnered with Infinite Campus and Engrade tocreate its own version of an LMS and SIS in one tool called BCPS One. TheLMS portion of the tool is currently live, with gradebook features for studentsand teachers. They are in the process of piloting and testing the studentrecords part of the system that will be completed by July 1st, 2016.


Tech Needs & Requirements

Technology tools must work on Windows 8 and be able to integrate with existing learningmanagement systems (using ADS to connect). All non-cloud-based products and cloud-based productsmust go through an approval process. The district needs professional learning platforms.


Initiatives

SIS Switch: The district is in the midst of transitioning its Student Information System to Infinite Campus, integrated with Engradeas part of the BCPS One tool.

Office 365: The district is also newly rolling out Office 365 to all teachers, students and parents.

*Content From 2015

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