The Gateway School District is committed to effectively preparing students for their future by cultivating their skills and providing the opportunities necessary to be successful in today’s technology-enriched world. We believe that technology is not only a tool to support creativity, innovation, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and life-long learning but a venue through which students can explore and discover their career pathes.
To this end, Gateway uses technology to positively affect the our curriculum, student learning, research, and scholarly activities of our students, but also to significantly impact how students and teachers work and communicate in our schools.
Through the use of technology in the classroom, we believe that students will:
- Access information to solve problems.
- Critically evaluate and create information and projects.
- Research, and analyze concepts and theories.
- Become actively engaged in personalized learning.
- Communicate, collaborate, and learn from individuals around the globe.
The District launched its technology plan this year addressing three areas: improve all systems (e.g. communication, transportation, food service, facility-usage, payroll, etc.), improve safety, and increase student engagement and achievement. For budgetary and efficiency purposes, a new website is being developed; online facility rental, student registration, and Voice Over IP (VoIP) communication will soon be here; an automated phone system that sends callers directly to their destination, updated routing software that improved bus travel times, online paychecks that reduced costs, and online course selection that will better prepare GHS students for post-secondary scheduling have all been installed. In addition, online access to student information provided 24/7 access for parents monitoring their children’s progress. From the safety perspective, we’ve been replacing the keyed entries with door swipe entries that record who is in the building, updating cameras and recording software to improve surveillance mechanisms, adding door alarms to alert staff if someone has entered/exited the building, and updating two-way radio systems for clearer communication. On the educational front, all K-2 classrooms are equipped with FM systems to provide surround sound communication during the critical years of phonetic awareness development. New equipment was distributed for the purpose of allowing staff anytime professional development and instructional planning and students access to iBooks, direct interaction with students in other countries, web 2.0 tools for research, design, and creativity, 3-D printing capabilities, and access to online tutorials and enrichment opportunities. The District also provided the following new equipment to staff: 810 new laptops (GMS and GHS), 320 Apple MacBooks (K-6), and Apple iPads (K-4, MSMS, & GHS). Teachers are using this technology in a variety of ways including science lab simulations in the elementary grades, architectural design at GHS, advanced research, language acquisition for non-native speakers (English Language Learners and World Language students), remedial support in all content areas, professional development (online learning and sharing within the District and beyond), lesson plan design with inclusion of video clips from YouTube, and a soon to be simulation lab at GHS. The Technology Department also successfully sold more than 400 used laptops to faculty and families. The sale earned more than $20,000 for the District and will go toward other needed project areas for our students.