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Kyrene staff, parents, kids gain new perspectives from advanced use of digital technology

Story by Diana Whittle

44medcmdABThe increased use of technology in the Kyrene
Elementary School District continues to make
teaching more effective and efficient, says a
group of 15 users of new software, computers and
other educational tools.
At the request of the Kyrene Governing Board,
Technology Services Director Mark Share assembled
the users to update board members on improvements
made to the school district, which benefit teachers,
students and parents.
Funding for the technology advances comes
from the Capital Outlay Budget Override referendum
of November 2011 that provided $6.8 million for
increased instructional technology and computer
operating software at all 25 Kyrene schools.
This override election should not be confused
with the $12.2 million Maintenance and Operations
override budget approved by voters last month,
which allows current programs such as art, music,
physical education and library to continue.
School funding restrictions can be complicated
and the need for frequent overrides make it appear
that the district is always seeking additional funds,
says Nancy Dudenhoefer, Community Relations
Program Manager.
“We want the public to realize that we use the
funds responsibly, but we are obligated by law to
use that money for specific purposes,” she said.
“The capital override is specifically earmarked for
technology and that is why we were able to make
these updates for the district.”
“Our Community Relations efforts benefit
from an enhanced Website and ListServe function,
along with the ability to stream the governing board
meetings in real time.”
For members of the public who not able to
watch the meetings live, digitized versions are
stored on-line for future viewing, along with the
accompanying agendas and documents.
During the presentation to the board, several
users complimented the software “ParentVue,”
which allows parents at home to view their children’s
grades, assignments, notices of special events and
other announcements.
Deana DeGarmon, a parent of a student at
Aprende Middle School, said access to ParentVue and
teacher websites allows her to remain current on her
child’s work in the classroom.
For the teacher, it streamlines attendance taking
and allows a file to be built on each student with
both personal and demographic information, said
Jean Hagen, a district-wide Computer Application
Specialist.
As the assistant principal at Pueblo Middle
School, James Martin commented that new
technology allows video recording of the campus
and on the school buses. He said that school
administrators were able to solve the theft of several
cell phones by using a video record.
Job-seekers for the district no longer submit
a paper application, explained Mary Jane Rincon,
assistant director of human resources as new
software allows completing and submitting an
e-application.
For students and parents who choose
to participate in special classes or field trips,
registration and payments are made on-line, said
Josh Glider, assistant director of community
education.
Students have access to computers during the
school day and are able to use them as research tools
for special projects. Each student has a personal
log-on and is able to be connected to teachers for
questions and feedback as needed.
For more information and access to Kyrene’s
network, visit www.kyrene.org

Posted by on Dec 6 2013. Filed under Education, Local News, Top Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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