Northeast 1506958774

Scarsdale Public Schools

The district believes that learning happens inside and out of the classroom and it is focused on providing learners with opportunities to explore learning tailored to their talents and interests.

State: New York Number of Students: 4,775
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: N/A
Grade Level: K-12 English Language Learners: 2.0%

School Context

Responsive Teachers: Scarsdale Public Schools believes that all adults must be responsive to the needs of each studentand approach all students with care and respect.

Growing Responsible Individuals: The school environment is designed to encourage students to be responsible and self-disciplined and to take ownership over their own learning.

Unique Learning Opportunities: The district believes that learning happens inside and out of the classroom and it isfocused on providing learners with opportunities to explore learning tailored to their talents and interests.

Using Technology to Enhance Learning: A key component of Scarsdale’s strategic plan is that educators use tech tools toimprove teaching and learning in innovative ways.


State of Technology

Through the Years: The district focuses on starting technology skills atan early elementary level and building upon those skills as students growthrough the elementary, middle and high school levels. This happens incomputer classes and across the curriculum. 

At the early elementary level, students engage in computer projectsincluding simple publishing, painting and drawing, and slideshowpresentations. The projects grow throughout the elementary yearsusing more complex technology tools like Edmodo, Google Docs andvideoconferencing; in fifth grade, Scarsdale students do an inquiryresearch “capstone” project. A major goal of the district is to havestudents enter middle school with the ability to independently usetechnology for researching and sharing information.

In middle school, students continue working with tech tools,specifically honing their ability to find information and create their ownpresentations. There is a major emphasis on building a “digital toolbox,”which includes tools like Google Apps for Education, Edmodo and

Scratch Programming: In sixth grade, students participate in a district-created 25-day curriculum program called the “Sixth Grade Computer Quarterly.” The program introduces students to many of the tools theywill need at this level and engages them in problem-solving activities.

Training Versus Staff Development: Scarsdale Public Schools hasa robust professional learning program and computer teachers play amajor role. The district distinguishes between technology training andstaff development, defining training as technical knowledge for usingtechnology and staff development as strengthening a teacher’s ability touse technology to enhance teaching and learning. Both of these happenin a variety of ways including: individualized training, workshops, teacherconsultation and coaching (with a computer teacher). The ScarsdaleTeachers Institute (STI) also offers professional learning opportunitiesin the form of six-week courses, weekend courses, projects, mini-grantsand a summer institute at varied levels led by computer teachers. Topicscovered have included Edmodo, digital storybooks, video production,digital music, iBooks Author and more. The district also launched a“residency” program in which members of the technology team can visitother school buildings to share their expertise so that all teachers canbenefit even if a specific expert isn’t teaching in their building.


Initiatives

Scarsdale Center for Innovation: The Scarsdale Center for Innovation (CFI) was launched as the first Center forInnovation hosted by a K-12 district since most others are supported by university labs and private institutions. The CFIwas created to reimagine education for all students. It aims to develop innovative ideas for teaching and learning. Membershave explored topics including content delivery, collaborative group projects, re-design of school spaces, mobile learningand more. Members of the Scarsdale CFI engaged in site visits to the MIT Media Lab, The Harvard Lab and the StanfordBusiness School to learn how other centers work. From 2012-2015, the Scarsdale CFI has funded a number of projects. Oneproject allowed a group of elementary school teachers and their principal to create a prototype MakerSpace with roboticskids, 3D printers and other emerging technology tools to increase STEM opportunities for their students. A middle schoolproject made it possible for a group of educators to develop a Music Maker Museum where students designed, created andshared electronic instruments and programmable artwork. These are just two examples of the work that is made possiblethrough the Scarsdale Center for Innovation.

*Content From 2016

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