Hello parents, grandparents, and community,
I would like to give you a quick update about Central Consolidated Schools’ recent technology efforts, but first, let me thank you for your incredible patience and resilience during these challenging times.
I began my last report by telling you about CCSD’s shift to a learn-at-home model while school buildings remain closed for the rest of the academic year. Today I want to give you a few more details about how that work is progressing.
Following a bottom up approach, our teachers reached out to parents to document their needs. I want to celebrate this work, because our teachers helped us connect with families to create a very detailed picture of where we exactly need to invest our resources (like laptops) and deliver services (Internet/Wi-Fi). See graph for a quick look at the data collected.
Insights and Data Trends: Our plan is a bottom up approach that started with our teachers reaching out to parents and conducting a survey of their needs. While our teachers are very aware of the needs of our families, the surveys give us a very detailed picture of where we need to invest our resources and deliver services. The images above show partial data extracted from a random selection of responses from elementary, middle, or high school. Survey work is on-going.
Based on those results, our Technology Department will focus on:
- Delivering laptops: The district ordered laptops in January of this year, which will be made available along with other laptops from carts at our high schools for seniors that need technology assistance to complete their graduation requirements.
- Wi-Fi Access and Wi-Fi School Sites: The district has ordered Exterior Grade Wi-Fi Radios to allow Internet access outside school buildings, teacher housing, school parking lots, sports fields, and most common areas.
- Working with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority: The district has had simultaneous conversations with NTUA to provide additional Wi-Fi Access on Navajo Tribal Lands.
- Cellular Access: The district has ordered hotspot devices with unlimited data plans.
- SmartBus Access: The district will equip 20 busses with the Kajeet SmartBus, 3 activity buses with hard installation, 17 buses with portable devices, and other buses with cellular connection to the Internet using a Wi-Fi radio (to connect with staff and students within 300 feet of the bus).
- Another tool worth mentioning is Webtrekker, a web site that allows students and teachers to connect to their home directory on the CCSD server.
District Continuous Learning Plan
Our District Continuous Learning Plan (CLP), which was submitted on April 8 to the New Mexico Public Education Department, includes the developments mentioned above, as well as ideas from every level of our school staff. As promised, the CLP includes a clear guide for student engagement. Moreover, in collaboration with NMPED, we are also providing them with more information and revisions to the plan, as needed. View the CCSD CLP for Elementary Schools. View the CCSD CLP for Secondary Schools.
This is what happens next:
- Assurance Documents and Continuous Learning Plans (CLPs) will be posted on NMPED’s website next week. We've posted our plan on ccsdnm.org.
- CLPs will begin being implemented as soon as possible.
- The guidance focuses on thinking creatively about representing the fourth quarter with pass/no credit.
- High school transcripts would look similar to transcripts from postsecondary institutions.
- Socio-emotional wellness for students and staff will be encouraged above all else.
In the photo: Renee Nahkai, Alyssa Begay, Aly Curley, and Jessy Manygoats, members of Newcomb High School’s Educators Rising research team that placed first in state competition in March.
I want to congratulate Renee Nahkai, Alyssa Begay, Aly Curley, and Jessy Manygoats. These wonderful students from Newcomb High School, members of our Educators Rising research team, placed first in state competition in March. Due to an error in the computer judging system, it was first announced that they placed fourth, but once the error was fixed, they were informed of this wonderful news. This is an incredible achievement and it couldn’t have come at a better time, when we need to hear great news. Congratulations!
Another well-deserved shout out goes to our Technology Department, for taking an enormous task to provide distance learning and Internet access; a task that needs months of preparation and tests, but is being done in a matter of weeks to help our parents. We owe them so much for making these promises a reality. We ask you to consider that these are not quick fixes and they will remain part of our long-term strategy.
And I know you probably have already thanked our kitchen staff, bus drivers, finance personnel, maintenance workers, and technology crew in person and our social media pages, but please keep them in your thoughts, as they are performing above and beyond in incredibly risky times.
Lastly, I want to put three more items on your radar that we should also be discussing in the coming days.
- The first one is, Summer School and next year’s School Registration. We are working on both and need you to keep it in mind, as they will likely require more creative ways to register.
- The second one is what is happening on the Navajo Nation. A 57–hour curfew began this weekend, as the Navajo Nation continues efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases. I don’t need to tell you how serious this pandemic is, I just want to remind you to follow the advice of local officials and health professionals, and that the thoughts of our families at CCSD are with those of the Navajo Nation.
- The third one is about NMPED and the Governor’s office. The pace of new releases and new guidelines has been both helpful and challenging, as the district moves to comply with the changes and how quickly information and services must be provided. Families, we need your patience and understanding more than ever.
As always, should anything change, we will use our call system and post the information on ccsdnm.org, and our social media channels. Stay safe. Protect your families.
Dr. Dave Goldtooth
Interim Superintendent of Central Consolidated School District