District 211 Students Back to School, Ready for Innovative Learning

Students in an intermediate ELS class at Schaumburg High School begin learning about their iPad devices and how they will use them in class.

Students in an intermediate ELS class at Schaumburg High School begin learning about their iPad devices and how they will use them in class.

District 211 students are back to school and already preparing for another successful year. The first day of classes was Aug. 21. Despite the rainy weather, students and staff were in great spirits as they arrived at school, eager to find out what is new for the 2014-2015 school year.

“Like many people, I woke up extra early with the excitement of the first day of school,” said Dan Cates, superintendent at District 211.  “Many different groups of employees have worked throughout the summer to help make the first day of school as positive as possible.  Our teachers participated in a variety of professional development activities, particularly related to technology.  In addition to running a positive summer school, our administrators coordinated various construction projects, hired new staff members and planned upcoming initiatives.  Our transportation department coordinated extensively to ensure that students were able to get to school and our food services staff worked hard all summer to employ new meal standards on the first day.”

Senior students march in to Palatine High School on the first day of school.

Senior students march in to Palatine High School on the first day of school.

Students at Conant High School noticed a lot of changes by the time the first bell rang. The band and their new principal, Julie Nowak, greeted them as they walked through the doors. Not only has leadership changed at CHS, but also the school is celebrating its 50th anniversary with renovated main office areas, which have not been updated since the school originally opened in 1964.

Schaumburg High School had an energized morning entrance for its students. The band played outside as students arrived, and administrators greeted students at the main entrance, welcoming them back and wishing them a great start to the school year.

Many senior students at Palatine High School participated in the annual Senior March-In, even in the rain. They were led by drum majors and collectively arrived at the main entrance to showcase their school spirit. Palatine High School Principal Gary Steiger also welcomed them on their first day.

Students utilize the new student services area at Conant High School. The main office areas were renovated this summer.

Students utilize the new student services area at Conant High School. The main office areas were renovated this summer.

Fremd High School also noticed administrative changes. Kurt Tenopir, the school’s new principal, made sure he greeted students and introduced himself during the first day back to school.

Hoffman Estates High School had a Freshman Kickoff on Aug. 15, welcoming the newest Hawk students to the school. Then, the first day of school, administrators greeted students as they headed to their first class of the new school year. Students explored their iPad devices for One-to-One classes, and familiarized themselves with their new schedules.

“Our technology staff and our maintenance crews worked diligently all summer to double our bandwidth, double our internet access points and install new HD projectors throughout the District in order to make the first day smooth for every student and teacher. The professional development for our staff members and the improvements to our technology infrastructure helped to contribute to an excellent first day.”

Kurt Tenopir, the new principal at Fremd High School, welcomes sophomore student Karla Carmona Navarrete on the first day of school.

Kurt Tenopir, the new principal at Fremd High School, welcomes sophomore student Karla Carmona Navarrete on the first day of school.

Students at all schools noticed a change in school breakfasts and lunches. The District implemented a revised menu program that meets new USDA standards. The updated menu allows students an opportunity to choose from more than 10 nutritious entrée items. Palatine and Hoffman Estates High Schools participated in a pilot program last year, which has familiarized the schools with the revised menu.

In addition to Hoffman Estates High School, each school helped freshmen transition by holding freshman orientation sessions in the days leading up to the first day of school. During these individual school events, freshmen students were given the opportunity to acclimate to their new school, meet teachers, find their classes, and mingle at lunch picnics.

HEHS Freshman orientation helps new students familiarize themselves with the school prior to the first day.

HEHS Freshman orientation helps new students familiarize themselves with the school prior to the first day.

These extra measures all helped contribute to a smooth first day in District 211, and a positive environment to welcome students to school for the start of the new year.

“Each day of instruction and learning is important and the first day helped to set a very positive tone for the start of the year,” Cates said. “Many people throughout the District contributed to a very positive first day and we continue to work hard to ensure that this momentum carries well into the year.”




District 211 Teachers Back to School

Hoffman Estates High School teachers Natalie Tindle (left) Jasmin Chung (center) and Tyrone Jones (right) collaborate during an Institute Day session on Aug. 19. During the teachers’ first day back at school, they worked together to learn new technology tools they can use during the school year.

Hoffman Estates High School teachers Natalie Tindle (left) Jasmin Chung (center) and Tyrone Jones (right) collaborate during an Institute Day session on Aug. 19.

Township High School District 211 teachers were back to school on Tuesday, Aug. 19 to participate in the first Institute Day of the 2014-2015 school year.

Institute Days are designed to help teachers collaborate with colleagues about various topics in order to improve classroom experience for students, such as curriculum discussions, sharing teaching methods, and viewing guest speakers.

Institute Days are designed to help teachers collaborate with colleagues about various topics in order to improve classroom experience for students.

Institute Days are designed to help teachers collaborate with colleagues about various topics in order to improve classroom experience for students.

At Hoffman Estates High School, teachers were greeted by administration and were presented with an overview of this year’s academic goals. Staff was divided into different teams where they participated in various sessions, including discussions about Schoology and ways to innovate their teaching using technology. Focus on technology continues after District 211 approved the full implementation of the One-to-One program this past school year, which provides an Apple iPad device for each student and will help all students to develop essential skills needed to be successful in a digital world.

Hoffman Estates High School Principal Jim Britton greets staff on their first day back at school.

Hoffman Estates High School Principal Jim Britton greets staff on their first day back at school.

During Institute Day on Aug. 19, Hoffman Estates High School teachers Jessica Schildt (left) and Jen Winfield (right) watch as their colleague demonstrates a task on her iPad.

During Institute Day on Aug. 19, Hoffman Estates High School teachers Jessica Schildt (left) and Jen Winfield (right) watch as their colleague demonstrates a task on her iPad.

District 211 teachers will continue with a second Institute Day on Wednesday, Aug. 20, before students return for the first day of school on Thursday, Aug. 21.




Video: Highlights of District 211’s One-to-One Program

In the video below, District 211 students and staff highlight the benefits of having the One-to-One program in the classroom. Students in the One-to-One Program have access to information and opportunities to develop creativity and communication skills that are not possible in the traditional classroom. Recently the Board of Education approved the expansion of the One-to-One Program by purchasing an additional 6,380 iPad devices for students. The expansion will allow all District 211 students the ability to develop essential skills needed to be successful in a digital world.




District 211 Board of Education Approves Full Implementation of One-to-One Program

One to OneAs technology evolves the way individuals communicate and learn, District 211’s One-to-One Program is continuing to grow and create opportunities for its students.

At its meeting on April 10, 2014, the Board of Education approved the expansion of the One-to-One Program by purchasing an additional 6,380 iPad devices for students. The expansion will allow all District 211 students the ability to develop essential skills needed to be successful in a digital world.  Students in the one-to-one program have access to information and opportunities to develop creativity and communication skills that are not possible in the traditional classroom.

Current teachers and students using the iPad devices have highlighted improved writing skills and depth of students research, increase in student motivation and engagement, organization, ease of use of formative assessments that enables differentiated instruction, and increased student performance as the major benefits to the program.

“Our one-to-one iPad program is truly fueling excitement for learning for both teachers and students,” said Lynn Swanson, director of Educational Technology at Distrcit 211. “Teachers are now able to seamlessly infuse technology into the curriculum and create an interactive learning environment where students are at the center of their own learning.”

Many students noted that they received more detailed feedback and quicker responses from their teachers overall. Using classroom portals, such as Schoology, Google Apps for Education, Notability, Subtext, and other apps, students are able to communicate, collaborate, and continue classroom learning far after the student has left the classroom

”We are excited to be moving forward with the full implementation,” Swanson said. “Our one-to-one program is the catalyst used to transform the teaching and learning environment in order to provide our students with extraordinary opportunities and an exceptional learning program.”

To read the full report about the One-to-One expansion, please visit BoardDocs.




Exciting First Day of School for District 211 Students

Schaumburg High School students enter the building on the first day of school, and are greeted by the school band.

Schaumburg High School students enter the building on the first day of school, and are greeted by the school band.

As the first bells rang to kick-off classes in District 211 schools, students excitedly introduced themselves, cracked open the textbooks, and prepared for what is anticipated to be another successful year.

Preparation over the summer helped faculty and staff get ready for the new school year and provide students with little disruption on the first day of classes, which took place on Aug. 21.

“We had an outstanding start to the 2013-2014 school year,” commented Nancy Robb, superintendent of schools in District 211.  “Enthusiastic teachers and energetic students in each District 211 school created a positive atmosphere that we will strive to maintain throughout the upcoming year.”

Tylic Grace (left), a senior football player at Hoffman Estates High School, gets ready for practice after the first day of school with Head Athletic Trainer Rick Bacon.

Tylic Grace (left), a senior football player at Hoffman Estates High School, gets ready for practice after the first day of school with Head Athletic Trainer Rick Bacon.

Each school welcomed students in different ways while they arrived at school and throughout the day.

Schaumburg High School had its band lined up at the main entrance of the school while students entered the building. The band played energetic songs, such as Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and the Schaumburg High School Fight Song, while teachers and administrators greeted students.

Many senior students at Palatine High School participated in their annual Senior March-In. They were led by drum majors and collectively arrived to the main entrance while wearing spirited senior t-shirts. Other students in the Palatine community decorated sidewalks and the building with chalk drawings that showcased school spirit.

Freshman students meet with members of Conant High School’s Cougar Advisory Program (CAP) during the first day of school. The course allows freshman students to work with upperclassmen mentors during their transition into high school.

Freshmen students meet with members of Conant High School’s Cougar Advisory Program (CAP) during the first day of school.

Palatine High School seniors show school spirit during an annual march-in on the first day of school.

Palatine High School seniors show school spirit during an annual march-in on the first day of school.

Conant High School started their freshman on the right track with sessions of their Cougar Advisory Program (CAP), where junior and senior students serve as mentors during classes. This program helps introduce freshmen to a high school environment, as well as gives them a contact person to ask questions if they need help.

Faculty and staff greeted Hoffman Estates High School students as they entered the building. Giant blue and orange balloon figurines were inflated and welcomed students as they prepared to start classes for the day.

Fremd High School also welcomed students and got down to business as usual on the first day of classes.  Similar to other District 211 schools, FHS teachers and staff made sure students had all the necessary materials needed to complete their coursework, including distribution of iPads for students in the One-to-One Program.

From left to right: Nick Deeke (sophomore), Jesse Hammond (sophomore), and Jack Huffman (sophomore) work on setting up their iPads in a One-to-One Program Health Science class at Fremd High School during the first day of school.

From left to right: Nick Deeke (sophomore), Jesse Hammond (sophomore), and Jack Huffman (sophomore) work on setting up their iPads in a One-to-One Program Health Science class at Fremd High School during the first day of school.

Additionally, each school helped freshmen transition by holding freshman orientation sessions in the days leading up to the first day of school. During these individual school events, freshmen students were given the opportunity to acclimate to their new school, meet teachers, find their classes, and mingle at lunch picnics. These extra measures all helped contribute to a smooth first day in District 211, and a positive environment to welcome students to school for the start of the new year.




District 211’s One-to-One Program Video Updates

The One-to-One Program began in August 2012 when Township High School District 211 issued iPads to 1,600 students across five high schools. At the February 2013 school board meeting, the board approved the purchase of 7,000 iPad 4s for use with the student population in a true one-to-one environment. These videos are a collection of clips from teachers and students related to their experience in the One-to-One Program. Videos are by Keith Sorensen, director of Educational Technology at District 211. For more information about the One-to-One Program expansion, please read the article here.

 




District 211 Board of Education Approves One-to-One Program Expansion

The program will now benefit up to 7,000 students

The program will now benefit up to 7,000 students.

After a successful implementation of the One-to-One pilot program during the first half of the 2012-2013 academic year, District 211 will expand the opportunity for an individual iPad device to more students in the coming year.

At its meeting on February 14, 2013, the Board of Education approved the expansion to provide up to 7,000 students with an iPad device for the upcoming school year. The use of iPads enhances student interaction and collaboration both inside and outside of the classroom.  Current teachers and students using the iPad devices have highlighted the ability for teachers to provide students with immediate feedback as a major benefit of the iPads in classrooms.

The One-to-One Program has increased collaboration between students and their peers, as well as with teachers.

The One-to-One Program has increased collaboration between students and their peers, as well as with teachers.

“Teachers are transforming their role as teachers and devising ways for students to create, produce, and demonstrate their own knowledge and content,” said Keith Sorensen, director of educational technology in District 211. “Throughout the pilot program, teachers report that the interest level and active engagement of students in the one-to-one classroom is notably high.”

The pilot program provided 1,500 students with the opportunity to use hand-held devices to enhance classroom interaction and collaboration with their teachers and peers. There were 37 teachers in the One-to-One Program, and the expansion will allow 60 additional teachers to transform their classrooms. So far, 85 teachers have applied to be involved for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Many teachers report that homework assignments are generally more creative using one-to-one technology.

Many teachers report that homework assignments are generally more creative using one-to-one technology.

The growth of the One-to-One Program is based on student and teacher feedback, survey results, and benefits they expressed in the program. Many students noted that they received more detailed feedback and quicker responses from their teachers overall. Using classroom portals, such as Schoology, students are able to communicate with their peers about homework and ask questions if they don’t quite understand a subject. Using Schoology as a classroom portal, these discussions can continue far after the student has left the classroom.

Teachers said using the One-to-One program has changed their classroom for the better, not only when it comes to assignments and homework, but also engaging students who historically were less interested in school. This includes students with learning challenges. Homework assignments were generally more creative using one-to-one technology, as well as more collaborative.

The use of iPads enhances student interaction and collaboration both inside and outside of the classroom.

The use of iPads enhances student interaction and collaboration both inside and outside of the classroom.

The National Staff Development Council reports school districts that implement new technology often encounters a dip in student academic performance throughout the first year. However, some District 211 teachers said students in the One-to-One Program had a higher proficiency score on the District’s Critical Learning Standards (CLS) in only four months compared to those in conventional classrooms. District CLS define what students should know and be able to demonstrate after the completion of their course.

Sorensen said reaching CLS and success with the program has revolved around continued reference of the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS), which focus on six different points of instructional improvement through technology, such as creativity and innovation, and communication and collaboration. One-to-one methodology is also combined with Education Success Measures from Project RED, a national study of education technology to focus on student achievement and financial implications. Employing these methods is helping teachers reframe their classrooms and increase student success.

Using classroom portals, such as Schoology, students are able to communicate with their peers about homework and ask questions if they don’t quite understand a subject.

Using classroom portals, such as Schoology, students are able to communicate with their peers about homework and ask questions if they don’t quite understand a subject.

“Given the positive outcomes of the current year’s pilot program and both the knowledge and experience gained throughout the year, expanding the program will provide more students with the opportunity to benefit from the learning experiences made possibly by the individual iPad devices,” Sorensen said.

For more information about the history of the One-to-One pilot program, please visit the D211 Post article here. Information about the National Educational Technology Standards can viewed on its website, as well as Project RED here.