DANVILLE – Danville school officials are getting ready to update the district's technology plan, and they're asking for the public's help.
Community members are being asked to fill out a survey on the district's Web site at www.danville.k12.il.us. There's a 24-question survey for parents and another with 15 questions for community members without children in the district.
Among other things, the surveys ask participants about their own computer use and whether they use the district's Web site and for what purposes. They also ask whether they think technology is critical to students' learning experience, and whether they would support additional funding for technology through state and federal grants, increased property taxes, donations and/or other sources.
The surveys will be online through March.
"We really want to hear from the community," said Carolyn Grant, the district's technology training coordinator. "We want to know if they think we're providing students with adequate usage of technology in school, and do they believe our schools are preparing our students (technology-wise) to go out into the work force after they graduate."
The three-year technology plan is required by the state, Associate Superintendent Mark Denman said. It lays out the district's goals for technology in four areas: curriculum and integration; professional development; parent and community involvement; and the purchasing and maintaining of equipment.
"We want to have a well-thought-out plan," Denman said.
The current plan is good through 2010, Grant said, but an updated version must be submitted to the state board of education by February 2010.
Without an approved plan in place, the district could not apply for certain grant funds that are designated for technology use.
"We do get some dollars, but it's been a very small amount," Grant said, adding that money has been used for professional development.
A 10-member technology planning committee, including technology division staff and teachers from all grade levels, will use the community feedback to help draft the new plan.
"We're also surveying administrators, staff and students to get input," Grant said. "From the staff perspective, we want to know how much they themselves use technology ... how aware they are in changes in technology, how much are they using it with students, what kind of training they'll need, what we can do to help."
"The state wants to make sure all partners with the school – students, teachers, principals and the parents and other community members – get a chance to respond to what the perceived needs are ... and what they'd like to see," Denman added.