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Local

Sycamore School District 427 to examine tech status during meeting

Board also expected to vote on 2019-20 calendar

Sycamore School District 427 Superintendent Kathy Countryman talks with a member of the audience during a board meeting Dec. 11 at Sycamore Middle School.
Sycamore School District 427 Superintendent Kathy Countryman talks with a member of the audience during a board meeting Dec. 11 at Sycamore Middle School.

SYCAMORE – Sycamore School District 427 officials will talk about the state of technology in the school district during their meeting Tuesday.

District 427 Superintendent Kathy Countryman said the board will hear from the district’s technology committee about student technology access. She said the committee will outline how many educational devices kids in the district have and review exactly what they’re used for, just as they do every year.

“So much of our curriculum is made up of those pieces that are used,” Countryman said.

Countryman said the board also will evaluate whether different classes have the technology that best fits their needs. She said the board might want to explore other options that might be necessary in the future.

In addition to the technology committee’s report, Countryman said staff members from West Elementary School will give demonstrations Tuesday on some of the new technology tools that they received through a foundation grant. That includes the use of Google Expeditions, a software that includes augmented and virtual reality that can be worked into school curriculum.

2019-20 calendar update

Countryman said the board will vote Tuesday on the 2019-20 district calendar. The consideration comes after the Illinois State Board of Education said it now is leaving the definition of an instructional day up to individual school districts.

The state previously required students to be in their seats in classrooms at least five hours a day.

Countryman said District 427 is not looking at including remote student engagement or e-learning days within next year’s calendar – unlike what DeKalb School District 428 is considering.

She said district officials do not want to hop on the bandwagon too early without considering what that would mean for students, teachers and the administration, but the updated ISBE regulations could give a lot of good opportunities for local control, including flexible scheduling for the high school.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at West Elementary, 240 Fair St.

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