Learning Technology Grant Program Overview: Olean CSD
Award Years: 2018-2021
In order to meet the unique needs of students in an increasingly technology driven society, the Olean City School District is proposing to create a system of web-based Personalized Learning Plans (PLPs) for at-risk students. These PLPs will motivate students to set challenging goals for themselves and take ownership of their individual learning.
This proposal will serve 885 students who are enrolled in one of three support programs at the district, and 40 teachers of those students. These students are considered ‘at-risk’ and are enrolled in one of three key support programs: Special Education, Title 1, and the Liberty Partnerships Program. These support programs provide more time for individualized support, however a better framework is needed to ensure that teachers and students understand and can access the wide variety of technology-based supports.
Description of the District:
Olean City School District is located in Western New York about 75 miles south of Buffalo. It is the largest city in Cattaraugus County, but is still considered a small city, with a population of approximately 15,000 people. The student enrollment at the district is 2,250 students. The district has four school buildings: East View Elementary, Washington West Elementary, Olean Intermediate Middle School, and Olean High School. The district is classified by NYSED as a “High Needs to Resource Capacity District” among urban-suburban districts. This means that the district has very limited fiscal resources to support students’ diverse learning needs. In 2016, the median household income was $40,707, as compared to $55,322 statewide. The district has high needs as evidenced by eligibility for bonus points as part of this grant proposal. The rate of students with disabilities is 16%, and the rate of economically disadvantaged students is 63%.
Description of the Program:
OCSD is proposing to use technology to implement a comprehensive program of Personalized Learning Plans (PLPs) for individual students who are ‘at-risk’ in grades K-12 across four school buildings. The district has implemented 1:1 devices for all students, and is committed to developing a systematic model that enhances technology-based learning using these devices. OCSD intends to shift the school’s instructional focus to be more student-driven using technology as an integrated and essential tool.
The primary goals of this proposal are as follows:
- Increase district capacity to implement Personalized Learning Plans using educational technology.
- Increase teacher competency in the areas of Technology and Personal Learning Plans.
- Improve student achievement and engagement by implementing web-based Personalized Learning Plans for at-risk students.
- Serve as a model to other schools (locally, regionally, and statewide) who may be interested in implementing PLPs.
The district will implement a three-phase program to achieve these goals, with one phase completed each year. The first year will include a comprehensive needs assessment, creation of the PLP template and supports, and initial teacher training. The second year will be an initial rollout to at-risk students and their teachers in grades 4-7. The third phase will expand the program to all at-risk students in grades K-12 and their teachers.