Board Briefs: Trustees sworn in, Board adopts legislative priorities

The Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees conducted the ceremonial swearing in of two trustees, voted on new Board leadership, adopted its legislative priorities and heard a presentation on the use of technology in schools at its Dec. 15 regular Board meeting.

Board ceremonially swears in trustees Gonzales, Moses, votes on new leadership
Local and national elected officials joined the Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees to conduct the ceremonial swearing-in for incumbent trustee Nikki Gonzales and new trustee Mason Moses. Williamson County Commissioner Lisa Birkman performed the ceremony for Gonzales and U.S. Congressman John Carter performed the ceremony for Moses. Gonzales, Moses, and incumbent trustee Charles “Chad” Chadwell were officially sworn-in as members of the Board on Nov. 29 to serve the District for four years. Gonzales will serve in Place 1, Chadwell will serve in Place 2 and Moses will serve in Place 7. The Board voted on new leadership for the next year. Diane Cox will now serve as president, Nikki Gonzales will serve as vice president and Suzi David will serve as secretary. [PHOTOS OF CEREMONY]

Board adopts 2017 Legislative Session Priorities
The Board adopted a total of 19 items as its 85th Legislative Session Priorities. The priorities consist of items focused on school finance, academic accountability, post-secondary readiness and school choice/voucher accountability and transparency. The 85th Legislative Session will commence Jan. 9. [LEGISLATIVE SESSION PRIORITIES]

NGDC pilot continues, BrightBytes survey results presented
Director of Instructional Technology Lannon Heflin presented information regarding the Next Generation Digital Classrooms and Libraries (NGDC) pilot program, as well as the results of the BrightBytes survey. RRISD has completed five of the six semesters in the NGDC pilot. Evaluation data, completed by the District’s research and evaluation team, indicates that in participating classrooms, student engagement, productivity, differentiation and support for learning has increased. Device usage is high and technical issues with those devices are low. Technology support through instructional technology specialists (ITS) on campus has been a high point in teacher feedback, with teachers reporting positive incidences of speed and quality of support for instructional planning and professional development. RRISD engaged BrightBytes, a data collection and analytics firm to assist with data collection and reporting regarding technology use. The results of the data indicate RRISD ranges from “emerging” to “advanced” in the areas of classroom use, access to devices, foundational skills and supportive environment. The District’s average access to technology ranges from 1:1 to 1:5 ratio of devices per student. [INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATION]

RRISD staff presents ‘State of Technology’ report
Executive Director of Management Information Systems (MIS) Mark Gabehart presented the State of Technology in the District. Technology services combined Bond 2014 and NGDC funding to meet Goal 2 of the District’s Strategic Plan of improving device to student ratio and upgrading technology as needed. Several of the key projects included introducing large numbers of Chromebooks and iPads to supplement laptops and desktops, replacing all telephones and projectors in classrooms, replacing and installing additional wireless access points in classrooms and replacing and adding video surveillance cameras. During the 2015-2016 school year, RRISD repurposed 1,700 laptops for students to take home at Title I campuses. Plans are ongoing to continue the program during the spring semester with 1,200 laptops available. Several of the key projects that fulfilled Goal 2 of the District Strategic Plan include running 73,856 elementary and secondary report cards to date, automating 48,307 student records and processing 6,666 staff records daily. RRISD has enrolled 30,182 returning students and 6,709 new students into the Infosnap online enrollment system, and host 58 percent of parents or guardians on Home Access Center (HAC). RRISD has implemented the Cherwell ticketing system as a means for staff to enter work orders for technology related needs. Between January and December 2016, staff has entered 29,481 tickets which allows RRISD to analyze the data and improve technical support efforts, ensuring the technology available is working for student learning to occur. [STATE OF TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATION]