MPS Bond Update:

Mustang Public Schools is on the track with time and budget for current bond projects.
Officials meet weekly on the elementary school, the intermediate school, Canyon Ridge Band Room addition, the resources center, the bus barn or any other project going on right now.
The district has broken ground on the elementary school, the intermediate school and the Canyon Ridge Band Room.
MPS has all the bids in for these three projects and are on budget. All three are slated to open in 2018.
“We are well into the process for those projects—meaning design development phase or construction phase,” Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel said.
“Things look very promising right now. We have a timeline—we update the timeline periodically, but for the most part, it’s pretty much the same as it was when we kicked all this off, with very few adjustments. We’re still tracking on all projects to be on time and under budget.”
Due to the bond, it has also been a labor-intensive summer for the Geromy Schrick, executive director of technology, and the entire Technology Department.
The Mustang Board of Education heard in May about adding an abundance of new technology to every school in the district with the 2017 bond issue.
“When you look at the scale of the bond issue that was just passed, it’s heavy on the facilities and the buildings, but one of those key components of the bond issue was to add technology,” Deputy Superintendent Charles Bradley previously said at the May meeting. “This initiative will affect almost every single kid in the district, if not every kid in the district.
“The instructional technology hadn’t been a major focus in what we were doing, but it’s simply the world kids live in so it makes sense to move more into the instructional side to incorporate the technology that they see every day.”
Teachers were previously going by the “BYOD” method, in which the teachers and students bring their own devices to incorporate into the classroom, but officials knew they would need to eventually transition more devices into the classroom—and this is the year.
Students at every grade level will go into the academic year with more technology.
Schrick and his staff have made “hundreds of thousands of purchases from last spring through the summer,” McDaniel said.
“A lot of that is unseen—you won’t walk in and say ‘ooh- new servers, new switches,’ but we will have new iPad carts, new laptop carts, new desktop computers, new software programs, just lots and lots of new stuff,” McDaniel said. “And one of the things [Schrick] is always looking for when buying new stuff is speed—we’re looking for speed with Wi-Fi and infrastructure type stuff so he has been hard at it.”
The May board meeting included the whole background of the technology discussion.
The process of deciding what technology and how much of it to add began by forming the district technology committee. Members of the committee then began to research and collect data on what technology the district currently had, Assistant Superintendent Tracy Skinner said.
They then decided to form subcommittees in October of last year to determine outcomes of technology the technology committee thought would be important in the classrooms at each grade level.
The committees and subcommittees were made up of five elementary teachers, four intermediate teachers, four middle school teachers, five high school teachers, four media directors (one from each level), four principals (one from each level) and four district administrators.
“We wanted to look at what each grade level needed, such as what are the technology needs of a first grader versus a 12th grader,” said Ryan McKinney, director of secondary schools.
After doing research, officials decided some of the non-negotiable things they must have with the new technology is:
—Students to have equal access to technology across the district,
—Common technology package for each classroom and all levels,
—Portable devices that would allow students to use technology where and when they needed it, and
—Technology that meets the needs of all students.
Each grade level then did their own research of what that grade level needs the technology for.
Elementary-aged students will need to:
—Research for expanding a greater understanding of content,
—Build digital projects for classroom presentations,
—Communicate by using technology,
—Share and collaborate with their peers, teachers and others locally and in different schools and locations, and
—Understand and stretch their imaginations by integrating technology into education.
Intermediate school students will need to:
—Expand skills and concepts established in the elementary level,
—Use technology to design, create, describe, and/or illustrate complex concepts/processes across disciplines. Projects may include animation, videos, models and concept-mapping,
—Participate in cooperative learning projects using an online learning community,
—Use technology to collect, organize, analyze and present finding from various forms of data including tracking their personal goals and academic data, and
—Integrate Google Suite into daily classroom activities/assignments and use as a platform to create a personal educational portfolio, use electronic tools to work collaboratively, locally and globally across all content areas.
Students at the middle school level will need to:
—Expand skills and concepts established in the elementary and intermediate level,
—Learn how to make appropriate decisions with technology,
—Have opportunities to research content related to their coursework,
—Collaborate with others through technology,
—Evaluate digital resources to determine the credibility of the author and publisher and the timeliness and accuracy of the content, and
—Be able to apply real world application using technology.
High school students will need to:
—Expand skills and concepts established in previous grades,
—Become self-directed learners,
—Collaborate with other students, educators and specialists to expand the walls of the classroom,
—Have individualized learning plans,
—Research and create media-rich presentations, and
—Experience technology embedded into their coursework that will prepare them to be college and career ready.
“As we’re reflecting and as we’re in the middle of all these projects—just the overwhelming gratitude toward our patrons and our voters for supporting our school system through the bond election,” McDaniel said.

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