SCHOOLNET NETWORK OF INNOVATIVE SCHOOLS APPLICATION

Oromocto High School is a grade 9-12 school located in Oromocto, New Brunswick. Oromocto is home to Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, the largest United Nations Training Base in the British Commonwealth and 60% of the 1245 students are military dependants. The staff at Oromocto High School consists of 69 Full Time Equivalent teachers, 13 teacher assistants, 3 secretaries, 3 guidance counselors, 7 Special Positions of Responsibility (SPRs), and 3 Vice Principals.

The focus for Oromocto High School has been to provide students with readily available daily access and training in the integration of technology to enhance learning and presentation across the curriculum. The school technology action plan has identified:

1) A central, seamless and enhanced role of ICT across the curriculum;
2) Training of staff and student mentors to support project and curriculum initiatives;
3) Training of student technicians to assure a dependable and stable network within the school;
4) Pursuit of funding opportunities to increase available technology;
5) Consideration of unique needs and requirements of First Nations and military populations.
The ultimate goal of Oromocto High School is to assure to continual growth of staff and students as they pursue their development of life long learning, critical thinkers and collaborative team members. In the 21st century ICT will most definitely playa central role in the lives of all contributing members of society. Oromocto High School has a positive reputation for its ability in providing graduates with the necessary skill set to pursue higher education, vocational training or entry to the workforce. To continue in our successful endeavors of preparing students for the future, we must assure the availability of the most current ICT for students and staff.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

1. How does the administration provide leadership in developing Information and Communication Technology as a tool or learning in the school?

Support for Staff: Our school, district, and administration have a long history in the team approach we undertake as a continually evolving community of learners. This team approach underlies:

2. How involved and committed are the teachers in the innovative use of information technology?

The ongoing commitment of the Oromocto High School staff to the innovative and appropriate use of ICT is apparent from a number of perspectives.

3. How does ICT contribute to student centered learning at your school and how is its impact monitored?

The concept of student centered learning at Oromocto High School builds upon the schools, districts and provinces accepted philosophy of teaching and learning, Principles of student centered learning form the framework of all New Brunswick Department of Education Curriculum documents. The driving focus of outcome-based education precludes the students' individual needs and learning styles are central to planning and delivery of curriculum in our school. The role of ICT is identified in both provincial and Atlantic Canada curriculum documents for all subject areas. In New Brunswick there is a clear expectation that ICT will be a tool used by teachers of all disciplines as a means to facilitate student centered learning. The teachers and administration of Oromocto High School embrace this philosophy and make all efforts to support teachers in meeting this curriculum expectation. .

Technology has been identified as an effective tool in meeting the individual needs of our students. It has resulted in higher achievement in writing, research and presentation skills of our students as indicated on provincial and teacher assessments. At Oromocto High School the Technology SPR (Special Position of Responsibility), in partnership with the multi-disciplinary technology learning team, supports teachers in their effort to integrate technology in lesson, unit and annual plans. Teachers are also encouraged to make technology available to students as a learning tool to facilitate their work in class.

Student centered learning is promoted through the numerous opportunities afforded our students for independent units of study, online courses and project based learning. Many of our students work independently with the support of a teacher mentor. Students use the computers in the many labs in our school. Our technology staff has been very open to the concept of students working on independent self directed study on available computers in their lab while they are instructing other classes. At Oromocto High School we strive to see all ICT used to its full potential. This concept is also being promoted with our Plato Lab computers, small pods and individual work stations are being placed in the classrooms of teachers \who are willing to share their teaching space and provide supervision to students working independently. Computers for School has been extremely supportive in placing 486 computers in the classrooms of any interested teachers for the purpose of student word processing. These computers are not yet networked but students are able to save and print in one of the schools labs.

Oromocto High School is sensitive to the unique needs of our student population. As previously indicated over 60% of our student population are military dependents. ICT serves as a useful tool for students to maintain contact with parents during times of deployment. Teachers also use the available technology to research and include in their teaching information on regions where parents are posted. ICT in this situation serves to meet both the educational and social/emotional needs of many of our students. Staff at our school have worked in partnership with the Military Family Resource Centre to provide technology training for dependents during aft~r school hours.

Oromocto High School also serves two First Nations Bands. The staff includes a Native Cultural Awareness teacher, a Native Behavior Interventionalist, and a Native Teacher's Assistant. ICT is useful in allowing our First Nations students opportunities to research their culture and contact other native students in New Brunswick, Canada and around the world. Native students recently hosted a two day Native Awareness celebration where students used school ICT in their presentation to their peers and community members. The school district and some staff members are working with the Band on a project to increase First Nations students and their parents access and application of ICT skills after school hours. This is being pursued in partnership with the two access centres that are in close proximity two these bands.

Students play an active role in the planning, evaluation and selection of ICT for our school. An advisory body of interested and dedicated students offer their suggestions and feedback which guide the technology team in their decision making process. Students have played a role in the development of new technology related and online courses. This allows them greater choices when planning their high school course selection. Students have played an active role in the planning, development and evaluation of past Grassroots projects and will continue to do so in this and future school years. A team of students also maintains and upgrades the school webpage.

Students are encouraged to pursue opportunities to use their ICT skills to meet the needs of their school and community. Projects have included the production a school bus safety video for the Department of Education, graphic and drafting design for many community and staff members, computer generated backdrops for this year Christmas Drama production, video taping and editing many community events, the development of games and units of study for younger students in our school district and the in house production of the school year book.

Broad Based Technology (BBT) classes at our school have moved to a more student directed approach to teaching. Emphasis is placed on project based learning and students are encouraged to use available ICT to meet their needs and deal with authentic school and community issues and interests. In this process student have acquired lab management, decision.making, self evaluation and module development skills. Learning in the BBT lab has been driven by student interests and the teaching team act as facilitators. All grade; nine and ten students (approximately 700 students) at Oromocto High School participate in BBT classes. This time acts as a foundation for promoting the concept that ICT is a tool available to all students to enhance their learning, writing, research and presentations skills. The BBT lab is open daily to all students in the school. Students are encouraged to use the ICT to meet the requirements of any subject area. All teachers have been inserviced on the ICT their students can access and have been encouraged to promote its use. The lab is staffed by teachers and student mentors at noon hours to provide support to those wishing to use ICT but lacking in any particular skill. This support has been well received by both students and staff. It is evident through observation that there is a high degree of collaboration and team problem solving strategies being used. Students who come to use the lab tend to come in groups. They take great pride in what they are able to achieve using ICT. .They frequently want to share their work with their friends, a level of enthusiasm not often seen with paper and pencil assignments.

The integration of ICT at Oromocto High School is continually evaluated by administration in partnership with the technology learning team. As technology integration across the curriculum is a provincial expectation, administration will expect that teachers annual plans reflect a use of technology in the delivery of their teaching, learning opportunities, presentations, demonstrations and student assessment. The school administration model expected best practices in their use of ICT to monitor student attendance, behavior, communication, evaluation and scheduling. The administration demonstrates to the staff that they value ICT as an educational teaching, learning and management tool.

4. How is ICT integrated across the curriculum and how is it used to improve learning at your school?

As mentioned previously Oromocto High School has established a multi-disciplinary technology learning team. Technology planning, media resource centre development and technology project activity reflect the interest and needs of all subject areas. Previous and ongoing projects have represented teachers of Technology, English, French, Art, Music, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Physical Education. This school-based team of technology leaders possess the expertise to assist teachers of all disciplines in the planning, delivery and evaluation of technology integrated lessons or projects. Teachers are encouraged after completing a project to assist other teachers within their field of study.

The teacher and student technology leaders are committed to the concept that integration of ICT across the curriculum will result in higher student achievement, motivation and fewer discipline problems. The teachers and student mentors are willing to volunteer their time and classroom space to assist other teachers in achieving the ICT learning outcomes. The administration assures that teachers who have success in integrating technology in the delivery of requited curriculum are given the opportunity with their students to highlight and celebrate their success. This assists staff in identifying the potential technology support network.

Oromocto High School has eight teaching labs including a Broad Based technology lab used 100% of the day, a graphic arts lab used 60%, a media studies/journalism lab used 80%, a computer applications lab used 100%, a computer assisted drafting lab and a robotics lab. Computers not in use during teaching time are available to any student and the labs are available to any class when not in use. There is a seventh lab which is used daily for online courses and independent studies. The Media Resource Centre also has four computers for student research. Several labs are open to students in the morning, noon, and afterschool. All efforts are made to facilitate student access to ICT.

In addition to the labs, several computer workstations are in the classrooms of teachers who have indicated they would use them for student writing and presentations. At this time internet access is limited to labs because of wiring and drops. Teachers wishing to integrate internet research would be required book a lab or the Media Resource Centre.

The development of a team of student experts who possess the skills to offer technological support and the ability to troubleshoot problems has given a leadership role and voice to students who might not otherwise be heard. Students participating and supporting technology integration have developed friendships and a valuable support network. The knowledge they possess has made them leaders in this situation. This has benefited their social and emotional development and ICT skills of the many students and teachers they assist.

FUTURE OF ICT

1. How will the contribution be used to further the innovative use of ICT to improve learning?

Oromocto High School Technology team has identified the following goals:

2. How will your school continue its leadership and share its expertise in using ICT to improve learning?

Staff will:

3. What types of research concerning ICT and learning is the school currently involved in? In what type of research would you be willing and interested in participating? What possible partnership opportunities for research exist in your area? Please provide areas of interest to your school, as matching opportunities are available.

Oromocto High School is a research school for New Brunswick Department of Education. This role entails gathering information and data on a variety of topics. As well, three staff members plus the principal sit on committees that guide this process.

The school has established a Research School Monitoring Committee. This committee has identified four topics of concern for research including:

1) Curriculum compacting and enrichment options for students
2) Grouping and Timetable options
3) Effects of any onsite Intervention Centre and Discipline Issues
4) Strategies for transition of grade nine student to the high school setting
ICT in all cases is used to gather data, analyze and evaluation implementations.

Oromocto High School is located 15 minutes from the capital of New Brunswick. Fredericton is home to two universities. St. Thomas University has expressed an interest in partnering in collaboration action research to guide the direction of their one year education program. The vocation/technology team at the University of New Brunswick has worked closely with our vocational and technology teachers. When many schools were eliminating vocational classes, Oromocto High not only maintained but also expanded upon the technology vocational department. .Students have successfully participated in the Skills Canada Automotive competition. The Department of Education has also been very supportive of the initiatives in this department.

Currently being considered is a partnership with the New Brunswick Community College. There has been expressed interest in the college students using our automotive and carpentry facilities. This partnership could result in Oromocto students having access to more current technology and tools of the trade. As well it would create networking opportunities for our vocational education teachers. This would create the opportunity for us to explore the potential advantages and benefits of such liaisons.

As Oromocto High School is located in such close proximity to CFB Gagetown there is an evident. opportunity for sharing of skills and resources. As previously stated 60 % of our student population are military dependents. The school has partnered with the base in the past and they have generously shared the facilities and resources as is currently being evidenced by the partnership involving the Outdoor Pursuits program. We have yet to tap the ICT expertise of the military personnel. This is an option we wish to explore and believe it could result in action research opportunities in partnership with the military

Areas of interest for future research as identified by the school administration, school improvement committee, research schools monitoring committee, and technology learning committee would include evaluating the following:

1) Would the introduction of an on-site intervention centre reduce student disciplinary issues and improve student time on task for those students who would normally be facing out of school suspensions?

2) Would compacting curriculum for identified gifted grade nine and ten students allow for greater acceleration, enrichment and student centered learning opportunities?

3) Would the introduction of a transition period for grade nine students where high school appropriate study, organization and social skills were taught result in reduced discipline issue for these students?

4) Would the creation of a Media Resource Centre with improved online access, an online database of the schools bibliographic collection, multi-media presentation software and necessary tools result increased usage of ICT in student and teacher presentations?

5) Would the introduction of a student-directed project Broad Based Technology Curriculum result in greater transfer of ICT skills to other subject areas?

6) Would teachers who have participated in technology professional development opportunities, have improved ICT skills and have access to on-site support integrate technology more often in the lessons?

4. What is the projected time frame and budget for these activities?

We have established a 3 phase/3year plan for development and implementation of the Innovative Schools grant if approved.

Year 1
Media Resource Center permanent Smart Classroom
 
Item
Quantity
Cost per Item
Total
Drops and Electrical
7
$300
$2100
PCs
1
$800
$5600
Hub
1
$225
$225
TV
1
$500
$500
PC TV Converter
1
$220
$220
Laptop
1
$3000
$3000
Printer
1
$2000
$2000
Cart
2
$520
$1040
 
 
 
TOTAL
$14, 685

 
 
Innovative Grant Contribution
$10,000
School Contribution
$4,685
TOTAL:
$14,685

Year 2
Establishment of the first two Mobile Smart Classrooms
 
Item
Quantity
Cost per Item
Total
Drops and Electrical
6
$300
$1800
TV
1
$500
$500
Multimedia Computer
1
$2200
$2200
Infocus
1
$5000
$5000
Laptop
2
$3000
$6000
 
 
 
TOTAL
$15, 500

 
 
Innovative Grant Contribution
$10,000
School Contribution
$5,500
TOTAL:
$15,500

Year 3
Establishment of the second of two Mobile Smart Classrooms
 
Item
Quantity
Cost per Item
Total
Multimedia Computer
1
$2200
$2200
TV
1
$500
$500
Digital Still Camera
1
$900
$90
Laptop
2
$3000
$6000
Cart
1
$520
$520
TV PC Converter
1
$220
$220
Digital Video Camera
1
$1200
$1200
Software
2
$1500
$3000
 
 
 
TOTAL
$14, 540

 
 
Innovative Grant Contribution
$10,000
School Contribution
$4,540
TOTAL:
$14,540