El Rancho Unified School District

El Rancho Unified School District

The district aims to create technology-rich learning environments that promote creativity and encourage group work and collaboration amongst students.

State: California Number of Students: 8,866
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 75.5%
Grade Level: PK-Adult English Language Learners: 22.6%

School Context

Academic Success: Academic growth is critical to the district and it is dedicated to building high quality learningenvironments that boost student success.

Innovative Spaces: ERUSD aims to create technology-rich learning environments that promote creativity and thatencourage group work and collaboration amongst students.

A Love of Learning: The district is focused on fostering lifelong learners by building spaces that are engaging andwelcoming for all members of the community.

Collegiate Atmosphere: ERUSD provides opportunities and learning environments that increase college readiness andpreparation for the real world.

State of Technology

Digital Learning Coaches: El Rancho Unified is a Google district, withboth teachers and students using Google Classroom. The district has asizable number of Chromebooks. Though it is not yet at a 1:1 ratio, someof the schools are very close. It used to have Response to Intervention(RTI) coaches but with the transition to Google Classroom, the districtchanged the coaching position to Digital Learning Coaches. There isa coach at each of the eight elementary schools and its feeder middleschool. These coaches are required to be working with five teachersand they spend at least one hour every week providing support in eachclassroom. Additionally, they host “Tech Tuesdays” and “Appy Hours”during lunch or afterschool so that teachers have multiple opportunitiesto learn about new tools and to learn more about the tools they’realready using.

Specialized Academies: There are two specialized academies in thedistrict. Birney Tech Academy is an elementary school and the STEAMAcademy @Burke is a middle school. Birney Tech Academy is in its firstyear and serving students from TK-Grade 5. The academy is very closeto 1:1 and is a feeder to the STEAM Academy @Burke. In its second year,the STEAM Academy is one of fifteen middle schools in the district,but it is unique in that it offers a wide span of classes that supportSTEAM and is focused on project based learning. Electives includeEngineering, Coding, Google Apps, Graphic Arts, Social Media, DigitalMusic Production, Robotics and more. All of the classrooms at theSTEAM Academy have Chromebooks or iPads. Teachers at the schooluse Google Classroom to communicate and collaborate with students.

PLTW At All Secondary Sites: The district is using Project Lead TheWay (PLTW)’s STEM programs and curriculum at all of the middle andhigh schools. The goal of the program is to provide early exposureto STEM courses and career opportunities to encourage a larger andmore diverse group of students to pursue college studies and careersin science, technology, engineering and math. PLTW’s GatewayCurriculum is used for grades 7 and 8. There are two pathways at thehigh school level: PLTW Engineering and PLTW Biomedical Sciencespathway.

Nothing But Net: A team of middle school students from the STEAMAcademy designed, programmed, and built a robot for the VexRobotics Competition Nothing But Net. The challenge was to create arobot to play (and win) a game that resembled a futuristic version ofsoccer. The robots carried foam balls across a field and dropped theminto a net for points. The STEAM team placed fourth out of twenty-fourmiddle school teams from across Los Angeles.

Role Models: The California Department of Education designated ElRancho’s Ruben Salazar High School as a Model Continuation HighSchool. The distinction focused largely on the school’s state of the artinstructional technology, including iTeach resources, teacher use of Enoand Elmo interactive whiteboards and overheads, as well as a focus ondata-driven instruction utilizing EADMS.

Tech Needs & Requirements

The district has minimal SBAC requirements for state testing. ERUSD is currently in search of a Learning Management System that allows staff to collaborate and share with ease. The district is vetting assessment tools. El Rancho is interested in online curriculum that allows teachers to move away from textbooks.


Push for PBL: A major initiative for the district is Project Based Learning (PBL). It has partnered with the Buck Institutefor Education to support the initiative and over 85% of the teachers in the district are trained in PBL. There is aleadership team at each school site as well as a district steering committee, which gives feedback about the PBL workthat is taking place.

*Content From 2016

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