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Learning Technology Grant Winner: Greenburgh Eleven Middle School

Award Years: 2015-2018

PROPOSAL ABSTRACT

As one of ten Special Act Public School Districts in New York State, Greenburgh Eleven educates emotionally disabled residential and day students whose educational needs have not been met by their community schools. Students' enrollment at Greenburgh Eleven often follows significant periods of truancy, academic failure, and involvement with the juvenile justice system. Our students must overcome many academic, emotional and behavioral challenges to meet NYS Learning Standards, to pass NYS assessments and to achieve the goals of the Regents Reform Agenda. Our Middle School has been designated as a priority school, and as a consequence, our District has been designated as a focus district. The Middle School, designated as persistently lowest achieving, will be primary focus of our grant.

Extremely limited finances have hampered the upgrade of our technology infrastructure. Unlike all other schools in New York State, Special Act School Districts received no funds under the $5 billion Smart Schools Bond Act. Some improvements in instructional technology have been made through the use of limited grant funds. More effort is needed to coordinate the implementation of technology and prepare instructional staff to effectively use technology to increase academic achievement.

Three issues negatively impact the transformation of our learning environment through the integration of technology:

  1. the lack of funds to support our technology infrastructure;
  2. the lack of personnel to coordinate and implement technology integration; and
  3. the lack of resources to provide our teachers with job-embedded, technology-related content area professional development.

Our proposed program includes the following objectives to address the impediments to technology integration and create new learning environments:

  1. to create a support structure for the integration of technology at the classroom level;
  2. to increase the instructional technology skills of our teachers, and make instruction in grades K-12 more rigorous and relevant, leading to increased achievement; and
  3. to provide sustained, job embedded professional development to increase teachers' social studies and science skills utilizing technology and the inquiry method.

Through these efforts, students will achieve Common Core Learning Standards and they will meet the goals of the Regents Reform Agenda to be college and career ready.