Farwest 1506962013

Fresno Unified School District

The district launched a district-wide digital portfolio initiative which has led the district to begin a Personalized Learning Initiative.

State: California Number of Students: 73,460
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 85.8%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: 22.4%

School Context

Academic Growth: All students in the district will learn at grade level and beyond.

Pushing Student Potential: The district aims for all teachers to educate all students at a high level, pushing students toreach their potential.

Building Character: Character matters to Fresno and the district works hard to ensure that all students build characterthat will serve them well in the workplace.

Strong School Leadership: FUSD is focused on creating and maintaining a strong culture of school leadership to ensurethat all of the district’s goals are met.

Safe Schools: Fresno prioritizes safety for all learning environments.

Culture Matters: A strong school culture is key for student success. The district values diversity, equity and collaborationamongst all members of the school community.


State of Technology

Personalized Learning Initiative (PLI): Over the past couple of years, Fresno launcheda district-wide digital portfolio initiative. Students used netbooks to track and maintaintheir work on their individual MySites page. The district migrated to Office 365 in July2012 and is now using Microsoft Classroom as a replacement for the MySites pages.During the 2015-2016 school year, this portfolio project led the district to begin aPersonalized Learning Initiative (PLI). In May 2016, the PLI launched with professionallearning opportunities focused on the SAMR model and the distribution of Surfacetablets to teachers. There will be more professional development over the summer and inAugust 2016 the PLI will launch for students.

Coder Girlz: In 2015, one middle school at Fresno started informally engaging somefemale students in coding. The district was very excited about the model and launcheda program, “Coder Girlz,” starting with five clubs at four middle schools and one highschool. Led by a teacher-facilitator, the clubs met twice a week for 60-90 minutesusing Code Avengers and Code.org to learn. All of the clubs took a trip to the Microsoftcampus in San Jose, where Microsoft crafted a panel of female employees with varyingroles that were able to answer questions from the students. The district is trying todouble the size of the clubs for the 2016-2017 school year and is expanding to theelementary level. Fresno is also working on designing a coding curriculum but for now,students in the clubs will continue using Code Avengers and Code.org.

Custom Built: In 2010, Fresno Unified built and released its own Student InformationSystem (SIS), in partnership with Microsoft, which it calls ATLAS. ATLAS is not yourrun-of-the-mill SIS. The district designed the system to provide teachers with smartdata dashboards that show pie charts representing a student’s grades, attendance andbehavior compared against each other. Data is updated instantly to provide teacherswith accurate and up-to-date information on how each data point is affecting the other.The system was designed to support teachers in making quick decisions about how tosupport their students in the classroom. It automatically flags students if attendance,grades or behavior have taken a sudden dip so that administrators can be moreresponsive to student needs. Fresno continues to build out ATLAS adding features suchas EduText for family communication and a rule-based scheduler to combat many of thescheduling mishaps that are common among big districts.

Students and Parents Too: In Fresno Unified every parent receives a daily text messageinforming them of their student’s attendance, grades and behavior for the day. This isthanks to an added feature on ATLAS called EduText. In addition to the edutext feature,the district also released a new student portal in fall of 2015. The portal tries to leveragerules of gamification to engage students in tracking their own progress. It gives thembadges, rewarding them for positive behavior or long periods of time without beingabsent. The district hopes to use the portal to emphasize positive data, encouragingstudents to keep up the good work.

Data Dream: In creating ATLAS, Fresno intentionally designed the system with room togrow. In 2015-16, it began working on transferring data from the digital math curriculum,provided by Houghton Mifflin McCourt. This will allow academic data to be included inthe data dashboards alongside attendance and behavior data. The district also spent2015-2016 piloting ELA adoption using a similar structure to the math department,having teachers and students use a combination of textbooks and digital content. ELAteachers use the McGraw Hill Wonders curriculum. Both content areas will continue thiswork during the 2016-2017 school year. As the district adds more digital tools, it hopes toincorporate data from these tools into the ATLAS system, building multiple dashboardsin one place to track academic progress for each student. The goal over the next threeyears is to move away from textbook and shift entirely to digital content.

Improving the Device-to-Student Ratio: Over the past eight years, FUSD has beenimproving the device-to-student ratio by providing more devices to schools and bytransitioning devices from labs into classrooms. In January 2014, the district deployed15,000 ASUS tablets which include an attached keyboard. The district also distributed1,400 new laptops to teachers and installed 3,200 wireless access points to ensure thatevery school has Internet accessibility. In spring of 2015 Fresno launched the PersonalizedLearning Initiative, which will involve another 7,000 ASUS laptops for student use and220 Microsoft Surface tablets for teachers. As of summer 2015, the device to studentratio at Fresno is about 2:1.


Tech Needs & Requirements

Technology tools must be web based. Must support single sign on using Active Directory orLDAP.


Initiatives

Personalized Learning Initiative: The PLI launched with PD for teachers in May 2016 and will launch with students in theclassroom in August 2016.

Coder Girlz: In 2015, four middle schools and one high school created a club for female students interested in coding.The program is shaping up to double in size for the 2016-2017 school year.

*Content From 2016

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