Technology Overview for New Franklin R-1 Schools
The New Franklin R-1 School District covers over 100 square miles in southern Howard and northwestern Boone counties and serves 424 students pre K-12.
The original school was constructed of native gray limestone and built by the citizens of New Franklin as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in the 1930's. The original school now functions as the high school and administrative offices for the district. An elementary school was added in the 1960's and a middle school addition in 1998. A new agricultural shop and the music/art elementary wing were added in 2004. The high school building underwent an extensive renovation of classrooms and the installation of ground source heating and cooling in 2006. A 1200 seat capacity gymnasium was added in 2017. All three schools are connected in a single campus.
The New Franklin R-1 School district provides Internet access utilizing MOREnet as the internet service provider (ISP). Currently we purchase 250 megabytes per second. Interactive video (ITV) classes make it essential that we purchase the highest level of internet connectivity available and we find that 200 mbps is sufficient for our district needs at this time. We evaluate this yearly and adjust accordingly.
The district has a local area network (LAN) which connects each desktop computer, wireless access point (WAP), server and switches to the Internet. A wireless local area network (WLAN) allows access to the internet with wireless devices. At this time, the district has the following district owned wireless devices: Chromebooks, PC laptops, and iPads. Devices can be utilized at home and school. Hot Spots have been made available to those families who have insufficient internet connections.
Students are allowed to bring your own device (BYOD) as long as it meets the school’s criteria for allowed devices (no cell phones) and required signatures are secured. The form is available in the Tech Office. BYOD privileges can be revoked at any time for violation of the school technology acceptable use policy.
Lightspeed Systems is the content filtering that District utilizes. The district is able to customize the settings to allow/deny access to sites at any time. The reporting feature is used to show usage, most used sites and determine inappropriate use/activity. Content filtering is required by the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The district began using Bark for school effective April 2021. Bark for Schools monitors school-issued GSuite/Workplace accounts for signs of cyberbullying, suicidal ideation, sexual predators, school shootings and more. Email alerts are sent out to district administrators when something within the GSuite/Workplace account suggests a concern. Concerns will be investigated immediately for the next course of action.
Teachers can use Lanschool to monitor live views of student technology in use within their classrooms. Monitoring is an effective management tool to ensure that school technology and class time are being used appropriately.
Each staff member/student in the New Franklin R-1 Schools is issued an email account and can access the features provided by Google Workspace (formerly known as Google Apps for Education). Preschool through fifth grade can only email within the New Franklin domain. This prevents them from receiving inappropriate spam or solicitation from vendors, etc. Third through twelfth grade have access to most of the features available in Google Workspace such as Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Classroom, etc. Sixth through eleventh grade can only email within the domain, but seniors can send and receive email outside of the domain. This allows them to talk to professors and send/receive scholarship
information. Exceptions are made on a per need basis. All Google activity (student and teacher) is archived in Google Vault.
Students/staff are given network access which will allow them to use network resources such as printers or storage. Current security controls require network users to change their passwords every 60 days, follow complexity requirements for passwords and accept the Technology Usage Statement before accessing those resources. Network files are protected based on permissions assigned. Students/staff can sign up for password resets for the network, Google Workspace or InformationNOW (InfoNOW) access in the Tech Office.
Automated backups for network files are made daily to another server as well as an external hard drive that can be taken off site. The backups are checked periodically for accuracy.
The district utilizes ThirtySeven4 for virus and malware protection for all Windows OS machines. Automatic scanning is enabled and reports can be generated that show systems that may be affected.
The payroll, Cafeteria Cashier food program, Student Information System (InfoNOW-gradebook, attendance, etc.) and Destiny Quest library systems are cloud based. The companies from which we purchase the programs/services control the security measures that protect/backup the data. New Franklin does limit who has access to those programs and can set/change permissions/passwords as needed.
The district currently utilizes Windows laptops and desktops, iPads, and Chromebooks. 90% of the staff is eMINTS (Enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies) certified and the district currently is one-to-one meaning every student in the district has an internet equipped device.
Families may purchase technology insurance to help cover any incidental breakage or loss associated with the devices issued. If insurance is not purchased, parents assume the cost of all device repairs/replacement.
The technology department consists of the Technology Director oversees the purchasing, implementation and maintenance of the District network, infrastructure and computer resources. All repairs are done onsite as much as possible.
The Tech Director meets with District administrators monthly. At that time, all aspects of the Tech Department are addressed: current issues or concerns, device replacement, staff needs and wants, goal completion, etc. Needs assessment surveys will be sent to staff to get input to help measure the effectiveness of technology implementation and to determine professional development needs. The Technology Plan will be reviewed annually and adjusted as needed to meet the current and future needs of the District.
Board Approved Policies regarding Technology:
Jacqueline Starke, Technical Director