Northeast 1506924279

Buffalo Public Schools

A top priority for the district is to support the transition to Common Core standards by helping teachers incorporate the standards into unit plans and lesson plans.

State: New York Number of Students: 31,359
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 82.0%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: 15.0%

School Context

Common Core: A top priority for BPS is to support the transition to Common Core standards by helping teachersincorporate the standards into unit plans and lesson plans.

Teacher Training: BPS plans to create and implement a comprehensive teacher development plan in order to support astudent-centered instructional model and a smooth transition to the Common Core.

Measuring Up: For BPS, teacher evaluation is a priority. Teacher practices are monitored and improved throughout theyear.

School Culture: The district is focusing on improving school culture so that student achievement and graduation ratesincrease, while discipline referral rates decrease.

Data Driven: BPS believes that using data to drive instructional decisions and changes is critical.

Leadership Support: The district is looking into new ways to empower principals to become even more effective schoolleaders.


State of Technology

Virtual Reality: In order to expand accessibility of content and increasethe speed of district computers, BPS adopted VMware’s Virtual DesktopInfrastructure (VDI) in 2013-2014. This allows the district to store alldocuments and software centrally on a virtual server instead of locally oneach computer. This enables faculty and staff to login remotely from anydevice and access the files on their local computers. As a complement tothis system, the district is also replacing its traditional desktop computerswith thin clients, computers that look like desktops but have no hard drive,in order to maximize efficiency and minimize costs.

Lesson Integration: Over the past couple years, large scale instructionaltechnology initiatives have taken a back seat to preparing for New YorkCommon Core Learning Standards (CCLS). However, through professionaldevelopment programs that focus on integrating technology with CCLSlessons, the two initiatives have found a way to harmonize. To date, 24Instructional Technology Coaches (ITC) have been hired to help teachersand principals implement these changes. Half of the district’s ITCs workwith 10 priority schools, and the other half work with the remaining 49schools.

Read All About IT!: The BPS Instructional Technology departmentpublishes an educational technology magazine called The Digital Educatorto keep the BPS faculty and staff informed about all the great thingshappening with edtech in the district. It includes vignettes about howsome teachers are integrating technology in their classrooms and helpfulresources on relevant topics such as digital citizenship.

Getting An EdVantage: The district has recently purchased EdVantage,a formative assessment tool that provides teachers with a bank of digitalassessments and a data dashboard to track student progress. The InstructionalTechnology Coaches will be supporting schools and teachers to integrate thistool into their daily practice in order to support more data driven instruction.


Initiatives

BYOD: The district is considering a bring your own device (BYOD) policy so that more students have access to technologyduring the school day. BPS plans to convene a 1:1/BYOD committee to research these strategies and potentially pilot themin selected schools or classrooms.

Race to the Top: In August 2015, BPS received $1.75 million from the State of New York for instructional technology.The funds will be allocated to low performing schools and will focus on five key areas: K-8 literacy and numeracy skills,intervention for students with needs, credit recovery, professional development and blended learning in middle school.Spending plans have yet to be shared.

Parental Engagement: A new parent engagement program will get top billing in the district in the near future. By June2016, the district will have completed a comprehensive family engagement plan in order to get parents more activelyinvolved in their students’ education.

*Content From 2015

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