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Statewide School2Home Network Takes Action to Close the Digital Divide

Blog: Project Update
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Author:
Jenny Wagner

School leaders from all over California gathered in Ontario last week to share experiences and best practices in implementing School2Home, the California Emerging Technology Fund’s (CETF) statewide effort to close both the Digital Divide and the Achievement Gap in low-performing schools.

Sunne Wright McPeak, CETF President and CEO, hosted the eighth annual School2Home Leadership Academy, convening teams from over 30 schools and 12 school districts. The goals of the Academy are to encourage continued executive school leadership and to work on local action plans, increasing the impact of School2Home across the state.

88 school leaders, staff and program consultants from around the state shared strategies to engage and train parents, customize teacher professional development, and infuse technology into teaching and learning in the classroom and at home. Valley Vision and the team from Leataata Floyd Elementary School (LFE) reflect on the Leadership Academy with optimism and enthusiasm in moving forward to expand School2Home at LFE in Sacramento. As Sacramento’s only school currently implementing School2Home, LFE is setting an example on multiple fronts – creating smart classrooms with seamless integration of technology, developing innovative parent engagement strategies, and connecting families to resources and tools they need to be or become self-sustainable. Grades 4-6 are currently participating in the program.

Pictured above: The School2Home Leadership Academy in Ontario, CA

At the Leadership Academy, Valley Vision and LFE leaders developed an action plan with five key steps to implement School2Home. First on the agenda is to purchase devices in order to expand the program schoolwide, eventually achieving a one-to-one student-to-device ratio. LFE families, who live primarily in the neighboring public housing complexes, often do not have access to digital tools or high-speed Internet at home. For this reason, expanding School2Home is crucial to ensure that children within this community develop practical and productive technology skills at an early age. Also included in LFE’s action plan are the following key steps: train all LFE teachers on integration of technology into classroom and home learning; expand efforts to engage parents in their children’s academics; and work as a school toward task redefinition – the highest level of technology integration, according to Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model of tech-infused curriculum.

Pictured above: Mouse Squad students on Day 1

Leataata Floyd Elementary has already made promising steps toward increasing the impact of School2Home within the community. This month, LFE implemented Mouse Squad – an after-school club designed to empower youth and help them to develop technology skills on a level rarely seen at an elementary school. LFE students are learning about computer coding, video game design, green technology and much more. At Valley Vision, we have high hopes of seeing future leaders come out of this community and are committed to moving the needle on the Digital Divide.

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Jenny Wagner is a Valley Vision Executive Fellow working on School2Home and other initiatives within the Healthy Communities portfolio.