Technology Plan: 2012-2015

New London-Spicer
Independent School District #345
101 4th Ave SW
New London, MN 56273
Paul Carlson, Superintendent

July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2015


District Technology Committee

This standing committee plans and reviews technology progress with periodic meetings throughout the school year to evaluate the needs, visions, programs and services within the district.  They appoint a sub-committee to evaluate and update the district’s technology plan. They receive site level issues and updates and discuss the ongoing and future technology needs for the district. The makeup of this committee varies due to changes in personnel.

Committee Chair

Joe Broderick is committee chair, and Lisa Wendlandt is secretary.

School-Level Contributors

Kevin Acquard (HS Principal), Joe Broderick (PW Principal), Trish Perry (MS Principal), Aric Harrier (HS/MS Teacher), Lisa Wendlandt (HS Technology Support), Cammie Holmquist (HS Teacher), Joyce Friedrich (MS Teacher), Jennifer Griffin (MS Teacher), Trish Ejnik (MS Technology Support), Fran Oestreich (Special Education), John Johnson (Elementary Teacher), Cindy Rodgers (Elementary Library/Technology Support), Sharon Lucas (District Media Specialist), Dan Rajewsky (District Wide Technology Support), Paul Carlson (Superintendent), and Max Mickelson (student representative).

School Board Members

Dan DeGeest represents the school board on this committee.

Community Contributors

Cherrish Holland and Dan Adams are community/business members who serve on the District Technology Committee. Plans are to continue recruiting more members.

Site Committees

Each building hosts site committee meetings during which site visions and needs are identified and discussed.  Findings and observations are reported to the NLS District Technology Committee.

Technology Planning Committee

This committee meets periodically to evaluate and revise the technology plan for the school district.  They evaluate the progress of the plan, make revisions as needed, and review the final benefit analysis.  They receive district and site level committee recommendations, goals and updates, and strive to ensure that future technology needs are being met.

Planning Committee Chairperson

District Superintendent Paul Carlson is committee chair.

School-Level/Library Contributors

Sharon Lucas is the media specialist who has been involved in developing the technology plan.  Joyce
Friedrich is the teacher within the district who serves on the committee.  Fran Oestreich from the Special Education Department, Dan Rajewsky, district wide technology support, Cindy Rodgers, Prairie Wood technology support, Joe Broderick, district administration, and Raymond Norton make up the rest of the committee.

School Board Member

Dan DeGeest is the school board member on the planning committee.
Note: Several others within the school district provide financial, statistical, and technical information for th gathering of current data.

Demographics of the New London-Spicer School District

The New London-Spicer School District is situated in a rural setting located 90 miles west of the Twin
Cities area.  The schools serve the communities of New London, Spicer and the surrounding area.  The district consists of four buildings; three of the buildings are located in New London and the fourth in Spicer.  The high school/middle school buildings, located in New London, house grades 5 through 12 and the district office.  Although the high school and the middle school share a library/media center, food services, industrial technology, Level 3 special education programs, and music, they are separate entities.  The Community Education office and Playing, Arts, Learning and Sports (PALS) program are also housed in this building.  Prairie Woods Elementary, also located in New London, houses grades K through 4 as well as an Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program.  The ECSE is in conjunction with Busy Bees Preschool and the Visually Organized Integrative Communication Education (VOICE) program which serves children that have severe communication needs.  Prairie Meadows Learning Center, located in Spicer, houses the Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), Kindergarten Readiness and Head Start Programs.  A West Central Cooperative audiology testing booth is also on site.  Included in the district is the Alternative Learning Center, located in downtown New London, which provides education to students ages 15 to 21 and is serviced by the high school/middle school food service program and media center.
The district enrollment for K-12 is 1438 students as of October 1, 2011. Predictions are that enrollment will be declining due to larger class sizes graduating and smaller class sizes entering kindergarten.  We face several challenges due to our rural location.  These challenges include reduction of state funding, the size and demographics of the communities, and the future of the businesses that operate within it. Due to the lack of industry, the tax burden is carried by property owners.  In fact, the school district is the largest employer in both the New London and Spicer communities.  We continue to incur large budget reductions that have directly impacted technology staff, services and equipment it provides to the district. The district’s special education population remains at 14.6 percent of the student body but with increased severity of educational needs.  For example, there has been an influx of students within the autism spectrum.  Seven students are non-verbal
including one with an electronic communication device.  The district continues to identify the unique needs of individuals needing assistive technologies and the necessary training of staff. The New London-Spicer School District is a member of several partnerships and collaborations that serve to greatly enhance our services to the staff, students and communities.  Included are:  Pioneerland Regional Library system, Southeast Southwest Area Multi-Media Multi-Type Interlibrary Exchange (SAMMIE), Little Crow Telemedia Network (LCTN), Southwest and West Central Service Cooperative, Putting All Communities Together 4 Families (PACT 4), Carl Perkins, and West Central Integration Collaborative.  We also provide training through a regional staff development program. Staff can select from various training classes to improve their technology skills. Through these partnerships, we have been able to deliver better quality services and programs including interactive television courses, internet, and other electronic services as well as providing a wealth of research resources.

Needs Assessment

The New London-Spicer School Board reviewed the results from a community–wide survey conducted this in the Fall of 2011.  This data is also under review by the New London-Spicer District-wide Technology Committee.

More than 700 of the New London/Spicer community, 116 staff and more than 500 students participated in a survey intended to help establish a future technology plan for the District. The survey was developed and results were analyzed by School Perceptions LLC, an independent firm with expertise conducting school district surveys.
Among the findings,
  • More than 84% of respondents believe the District should invest more money in technology, with 74% believing that technology should be a high priority.
  • Overall, 84% of respondents utilize the District’s website to view calendar information and 60% view school closings. Only 5% respondents use the library resource services on the site.
  • More than 62% of parents utilize the District’s online grade book to view their child’s homework and academic progress.
  • 94% of high school students utilize the Internet at home to do homework, and 82% utilize social media. More than 90% of all students have access to a computer at home.
  • 68% of parents utilize email to communicate with teachers.
  • With regard to technology, the staff scored themselves most efficient in email, Internet safety and conducting on-line research for lesson plans. They scored themselves most inefficient in knowledge of spreadsheet software, managing file sizes and Microsoft Access.
  • These surveys determined the level of student and staff technology skills and identified equipment and training needs.
  • In addition to quantitative data, community members provided hundreds of comments about various issues.  Comment themes included overall high marks for the teachers, schools and district as well as words encouraging the District to incorporate technology into life and employability skills.
The School Board is committed to developing a cost effective plan to address the district’s technology needs.  The survey represents an on-going commitment to community dialogue.

Vision, Goals and Strategies for Technology

Mission Statement
The mission of the New London-Spicer Community Schools, committed to excellence
throughout the district, is to develop high achieving individuals who desire to excel, learn, set goals, attain critical and creative thinking skills, and are productive citizens who are respectful of themselves and others.  This will be accomplished through:
  • A highly skilled educational team dedicated to maximum achievement for every student
  • A safe, nurturing and well-organized learning environment
  • A board and administration that provides leadership and supports innovation and creativity that enhances student learning
  • A wide range of learning opportunities that prepare students for the future
Vision Statement
The New London-Spicer School District recognizes that access to technology and opportunities to develop technological skills are necessary in order for today’s students to achieve excellence.  This requires that both staff and students attain basic competencies in the use of technology as well as have opportunities to use technology in creative and innovative ways to enhance learning.
We believe that to be current with technology our resources, time, and motivation are of utmost importance.  We have completed many of our goals from our 2007-2011 technology plan, indicating that we are on the right path to staying current with technology as our budget allows.  We believe:
  1. Appropriate technological tools are available to learners when needed.
  2. State-of-the-art technological opportunities are an integral component of staff development and student enrichment.
  3. Maintaining a network will continually link all buildings in the district and provide access to worldwide resources to students, staff and community members.
  4. Communication with parents and community through the World Wide Web and other media is vital.
  5. An essential part of our curriculum is integrating technology to support and enhance learning.

Goals and Strategies

I.   Universal access to and seamless integration of technology into the teaching and learning process.
A.  Implement interactive Whiteboard technology in every classroom throughout the district.
B.   Access to portable learning devices.
C.  Audio enhancement technology in every classroom throughout the district.
D.  Purchase or lease software and subscribe to online curriculum.
E.   Access to Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM).
F.   Provide opportunities for media specialist to coordinate with classroom teachers.
II.   Foster innovation, professional development and support of technology in the district.
A.  Provide continuing professional development for staff.
B.   Provide access to, and training in, presentation technologies.
C.  Network, wiring, and fiber upgrades to support current and future technology advancements.
III.   Increase technology literacy for all staff and students.
A.  Teach students effective use of digital learning resources.
1.     Provide students with student email accounts.
2.     Continued utilization of content filter to be in compliance with Children’s Internet Protection Act.
B.   Integrate technology standards (skills) in all curricular areas.
C.  Maintain affiliation with LCTN to keep up with new and emerging technologies.
1.     Discovery Education
2.     Atomic Learning
3.     Moodle
4.     Email filtering
5.     Remote data backup
6.     NetTrekker
D.  Access current online offerings available to students through online curriculum providers.
IV.   Maintain and support new and existing technology needed for assessments.
A.  Results of the assessments, such as Measure of Academic Progress (MAP), Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA), will be used to enhance curriculum.
B.   Make available alternative methods for testing students with special needs.
V.   Use technology to effectively communicate with all stakeholders.
A.  Maintain affiliation with telecommunications provider.
B.   Offer technology-related courses through Community Education.
C.  Continue development and improvement of the District website.
D.  Increase individual teacher web presence.

Policies and Procedures

The New London-Spicer School District recognizes and supports technology-related policies for students and staff.  The District Technology committee will continue to develop, implement, and maintain these policies and procedures.
The following policies of District #345 can be reviewed on the district’s web site:
1.   Student Disability Non-Discrimination Policy (6069)
2.   District Internet Use Plan (7015)
3.   Wireless Use Policy (8120)
4.   Parent Portal Policy (8115)
The District Security and Filtering Plan and District Disaster Recovery Plan follow.
New London-Spicer School District Security and Filtering Plan
The district has implemented the following programs as part of its security plan.  The district will seek new and better programs to meet the growing needs of security as technology changes.
1.   Customized user identifications and passwords are specifically assigned to each user for the purpose of Internet, network, and email use.
2.   The student database has specific user names and passwords to allow access to the school database.  Access rights are granted upon the users specific need of student data.
3.   An Internet filtering program is in use which blocks inappropriate material from reaching the end-user.
4.   A virus protection program has been installed on all workstations to prevent
destruction from viruses.  It is continuously updated through the network.
5.   Desktop security systems are being evaluated to preserve individual workstations and to prevent tampering.
6.   Internet agreements are read and signed by staff and students, ensuring appropriate use of resources are followed by all users.  Infractions of this policy are handled in a manner stated in the agreement.
New London-Spicer School District Disaster Recovery Plan
The New London-Spicer School District uses the following disaster recovery plan:
1.   A large capacity Synology appliance is used for backing up virtual servers, teacher, and student data. Currently in process of setting up a remote location back up for  redundancy.
2.   Backups are done on a daily basis on the servers.
3.   All student records are stored with Infinite Campus at a remote location.
Procedures and policies are continually updated.  These policies and updates are communicated to community, staff, parents, and students through student and new staff orientations, the district web site, the Newscaster (district publication), parent/teacher conferences, and local newspapers.
Security audits are continuous.  Software and hardware are updated as needed to secure the network and safeguard privacy. Students with exceptional needs are provided with accommodations such as:  tablet technology, sound field amplification systems, voice recognition programs, and augmentative communication systems. A district-wide filtering system is installed and in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

Technology Infrastructure, Management, and Support

Telecommunications Capacity

Currently, the district is utilizing a Mitel 3300 ICP (Integrated Communication Platform) system with a software release that supports traditional PBX systems and IP networking.  The voice mail system is the 6510 Unified Messaging Client system, version 1.5.  This system has IP telephony capabilities, a web embedded management system.  The district has implemented IP telephony on a small scale.  Future plans include migration to a full Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) solution.
The Little Crow Telemedia Network (LCTN) manages the Internet access from our school District LAN to the Internet Point of Presence (POP).  The LCTN leases video and data services from Windstream Communications providing Interactive Television (ITV), video conferencing via Wide Area Network (WAN) services.
The LCTN provides the following video services:
  • Manages the Audio/video router distributing signals for each class on the ITV network.
  • Manages the cross connect channels to Central Minnesota Distance Learning Network (CMDLN) and other Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) sites.
  • Creates and manages the joint ITV schedule
  • Provides access to other K-12 schools for classes, meetings, staff development and Special Education services.
  • Promotes and creates connections to other sites for video field trips with codecs.
  • Provides connections to IP video and Internet 2 connections
The data service provides a 1 Gb WAN which connects 19 Public School Districts which allows us to share Internet access. This lease is in effect until June 2014.  The LCTN puts out the  Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Internet POP and through a committee and the Governing Board of LCTN & Minnesota River Valley Education Districts (MRVED), selects a vendor.  The LCTN then configures and manages all IP traffic, including routers, DNS servers, and other servers for the Districts.  Currently the District shares 200 mbps of Broadband Internet access with other schools.

Equipment Access for Instruction

The district network uses category 5 twisted pair with fiber backbone and Sonic Point NDR Dual Band wireless network.  School services are provided through a Windows 2003-2008 virtual server environment.
The video distribution system includes multiple analog channels, wired throughout the high school, middle school and elementary school.  Two interactive television classrooms using a fiber optic connection share courses with other schools in the Little Crow Telemedia Network.

Average Age of Equipment for Instruction

At this time the average age of our technology equipment varies from 1 to 7 years:  an upgrade has been made to the network infrastructure in the summer of 2011; and desktop hardware averaging 5-7 years.

Equipment Replacement Schedule

Replace staff and student desktop hardware every 4 years.  Replace network infrastructure every 7 years. Replacement of other instructional technologies as needed.

Network and Data Security

A SonicWALL NSA-2400 and SonicWALL SRA-4200 Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution were put in service in the summer of 2011.

Technology Platform

Current operating systems include Windows XP, Windows7, Apple Lion, OS5 and Apple Panther.

Level of Technology Staff Support

The district has one director of technology and one district wide technology support person.  In addition, the district employs three part-time technology paraprofessionals.  Training is provided through staff development funds.  Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative, LCTN, and Infinite Campus also provide training.

Role of School Media Center/Library

The district has one full-time media specialist who also serves on the District Technology Committee.
The library/media program philosophy is to support the curriculum and to provide an opportunity for students to develop 21st Century skills for research and access.  Material selection is done in accordance with the Media Center Material Selection Policy (7005).  The media specialist teaches skills and trains staff and students how to use print and electronic resources.
All aspects of school media use are technology driven.  The media specialist introduces teachers to new technologies relevant to their areas of instruction. Teachers are given assistance in use of online catalogs, incorporating databases, tablet applications, and software into projects and overall curriculum.
The media specialist follows Minnesota Educational Media Organization (MEMO) recommendations for Technology Skills Scope & Sequence and Responsible Use Scope and Sequence.
The media program accesses materials through Pioneerland,, MNLink, and SAMMIE.  Interlibrary loan is a vital support to media center collections.  Over 500 interlibrary loan requests are processed annually.   Students and staff can use interlibrary loan service that includes public libraries as well as university collections throughout the tri-state area. Students are encouraged to use local libraries.
Not only does the school district access but relies on it daily for research projects.  Discovery Education, NetTrekker, and Atomic Learning are used throughout the district.  The MS/HS Media Center subscribes to Social Issue Research Series (SIRS).
Curriculum planning is based on research based best practices which result in improved student academic achievement.
Through Community Education, Adult Basic Education (ABE) is provided using trained staff and technology resources.

Staff Development and Training

The district staff development goal is to provide training for the effective use of technology and technology applications to improve teaching and learning.  Staff development opportunities include staff in-service, webinars, integrating technology support through MRVED and LCTN, Technology Tuesday Learning Community, and regional summer staff development academy.  Time will be provided for staff to integrate technology into the classroom.
A plan will be established to formally adopt technology skills for staff and administration to meet the various levels of proficiency.  Due to a wide range of skill levels, training will need to be adapted for individual needs.  The technology committee will work jointly with the staff development committee to establish this plan in accordance with the MEMO Information and Technology Literacy Standards Refresh 2009.

Budget for Technology

The technology budget is monitored by the District Technology Committee and at monthly administrative meetings.  The district business manager and superintendent will audit technology expenditures.  The budget is dependent upon the amount of money that is allocated to the school district by the Minnesota State Legislature through capital revenue, deferred maintenance, and telecommunication aid.  The superintendent and technology coordinator will work cooperatively to seek other sources of funding such as grants and donations.  In November of 2011, District residents who were eligible to vote supported a Capital Project Levy Referendum for Technology.  This technology levy will be available for three years starting with the 2012-2013 school year budget.  Funds available through this levy total 1.5 million dollars over the three year period.
The types of services supported include telecommunications, LCTN, ITV and internet access.
Other challenges within the district compete with the general fund revenue source.  These include:  capital projects such as facility projects (boilers, roofs, windows, grounds, maintenance), declining enrollment, and new curriculum materials/equipment to meet Minnesota Academic Standards.
Listed below is the proposed technology budget for school years 2013-2015.
DESCRIPTION 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
100 – Technology Staff Salaries/Wages 126,973 129,397 129,397
200 – Technology Staff Benefits 25,014 25,339 25,339
300 -Telecommunications 12,548 12,736 12,736
300 – Tech Maintenance Contracts 24,413 24,657 24,657
300 – Technical Support 18,770 18,958 18,958
300 – Tech Educational Development 3,000 3,000 3,000
300 – Technology User Training 5,000 5,000 5,000
366 – Staff Development 7,500 7,500 7,500
400 – Technology Supplies/Materials 12,500 13,000 13,000
500 – Ipads/Carts 121,064 73,164 101,820
500 – White Boards 168,000 150,000 75,000
500 – Sound Systems / D.W. 100,000
500 – AR Computers, MacLab/Carts, Computer Lab Upgrades (HS-2, MS-1, PW-1) 104,000 133,000
500 – Video Production 15,000 10,000 10,000
500 – Infrastructure 197,000 52,000 77,000
500 – iPod Touch 30,000
500 – VOIP 40,000
TOTALS 940,782 727,751 503,407
Evaluation Plan
The New London-Spicer District Technology Committee evaluated the technology plan from 2007-2011, and 2012 Bridge Plan.  The findings reveal that we accomplished many of the goals but have several that are ongoing.
Each goal and action from the previous plan was reviewed by the committee using formal and informal surveys, hardware/software inventories, documented usage and consultation with administration and other human resources.  Using this information, the following accomplishments have been achieved:
  • On-going staff development for technology.
  • Paperless board meetings.
  • Successful passage of technology levy.
  • Online courses for students.
  • Media Center using web based library management and is wireless.
  • Wireless access points throughout district.
  • Implemented iPad Cart in the Media Center
  • Common platform using Windows7, Office 2010, and Exchange.
  • Upgraded teacher workstations.
  • HD Video Codec – 3 stations.
  • WordPress used for district web site.
  • Campus enhancements to include Point of Sale for lunch program, parental notification, increased usage by all staff.
  • Utilization of staff as resident experts.
  • Continue to update technology for assessments.
  • Data gathered form assessments are being used to evaluate and update curriculum.
  • In-service training has been accessed through the use of webinars.
  • Assistive technologies are provided to be compliant with American Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Access to 49,000 books through Net Library plus access to eBooks.
In small school districts where a small fluctuation in enrollment can have significant budget implications, it is difficult to set measurable objectives related to technology equipment.  In this technology plan, the committee has chosen to, instead, provide technology goals. In the previous technology plan, very general goals and recommendations were made.  In many cases, the goals and recommendations were met, in other cases they have become obsolete due to the rapid changes in technology or were just too “general” to measure.
Additional evaluation activities, outlined on the next page will be implemented for this plan to give the district a better indication of the effectiveness of the technology initiatives.
Evaluation Strategies for 2013-2015 Technology Plan
The District Technology Committee in conjunction with the Staff Development Committee will be responsible for the effective implementation of staff development and technology plans. The evaluation process will include:
  • quarterly review by the District Technology Committee with revisions as necessary to ensure accountability for improving academic achievement.
  • measures of performance such as staff and student surveys, assessment results, hardware/software inventories, usage statistics, participant evaluations, and feedback from staff, students and the community.
  • evaluations ofthe plan will be done by the District Technology Committee, Administration, and district technology staff.
  • the District Technology Committee will monitor and document the progress made towards achieving the goals.
  • annual Staff Development Report submitted to Minnesota Department of Education
  • data collected will be used for yearly planning as well as a basis for development of the next three-year technology plan revision.
For further information on this technology plan, please contact:
Dan Rajewsky, Technology Coordinator, ISD # 0345
101 4th Avenue SW
New London, MN 56273
Phone: 320-354-2252
Fax: 320-354-9001