Technology & Connectivity

  • In order to ensure that all students and staff have access to technology and connectivity the District will:    

    • Identify the level of access to devices and high-speed broadband all students and teachers have in their places of residence.
      • On the Family Survey in July of 2020, question 11 asked "If learning remotely in September, please choose all of the following that apply for your child(ren):” and listed the first check box as "We DO NOT have reliable Wi-Fi to access the Internet to support all of our family at the same time."  Of the 796 surveys that were completed, 76 checked the box indicating they DO NOT have reliable Wi-Fi. 
      • On the Staff Survey in July of 2020, question 12 asked “If we need to use a distance learning model, please select all that apply to your remote working circumstances.  Of 188 survey responses that were completed, 6 checked the box indicating that they DO NOT have reliable Wi-Fi.  Of the 6 staff members, 1 identified as a teacher.   
      • Surveys did not ask families or staff about level of access to devices because all students have a district issued device for use in their place of residence: an iPad for students in grades K-8th, an iPad Pro for students in grades 9th -12th. All teachers have a district issued laptop for use in their place of residence as well as a device that mirrors that of their students.
      • The district has offered to provide devices for UPK students in partnership with the UPK provider.  
    • To the extent practicable, address the need to provide devices and internet access to students and teachers who currently do not have sufficient access.  
      • All students and instructional staff have a district issued device that can be used in their places of residence.
      • To provide internet access to students and teachers who do not currently have sufficient access, the District has invested in mobile hotspots. The District has purchased more than 250 mobile hotspots from Kajeet.  Kajeet provides filtering on all mobile hotspots.  Based on the family survey information, as identified in section 1a, ten percent of student household may need internet access.  Based on our Student Information System we have 987 unique primary address and would potentially need approximately 100 mobile hotspots. Based on the staff and family surveys, the District is well-positioned to provide wi-fi access to students and teachers.   
    • Provide multiple ways for students to participate in learning and demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in remote or blended models, especially if all students do not yet have sufficient access to devices and/or high-speed internet.
      • The district is working to develop multiple ways for students to participate in learning and demonstrate mastery including but not limited to synchronous and asynchronous options, choice boards and menus, as well as providing opportunities to empower students through choice and voice.
      • The district is well positioned to provide sufficient access to devices and/or high-speed internet for students and teachers. In addition to the district issued devices and mobile hotspots previously named in this section, the district also has a community partner that may be able to assist with connectivity: Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone Company.   

     The District has made the following considerations for reopening:   

    • The district has surveyed parents and guardians to determine the level of access to high-speed internet to which students have access in their places of residence. The District did not survey parents and guardians about the level of access to computing devices because the District issues a device to each student.
    • The district crafted survey questions that provided information about the reliability of students’ home wi-fi.
    • The district is developing a high-quality professional development experience for instructional staff based on The Distance Learning Playbook, Grades K-12: Teaching for Engagement and Impact in Any Setting that was recently published. The district’s Instructional Coach is working to share content with instructional staff in a way that models best practices for instruction in remote/online settings. 
    • The district is investigating ways to provide instruction to students to build digital fluency.   
    • The district is seeking to adjust Information Technology (IT) Support as necessary to support teachers, students, and families.   
      • The district is looking to continue its use of techsupport@midlakes.org for staff and techhelp@midlakes.org for students and families.
      • The district is considering the use of a student help desk.
      • The district is working to identify Tech-Savy Staff. Potential Tech-Savy Staff may be identified as those who may have previously led professional development on technology related topics.  Staff will access identified Tech-Savy Staff through the district’s Instructional Coach. The Instructional Coach may also reach out to any of the following individuals to support staff with technology implementation:  coaches through Better Lesson, a coach through Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES, a coach through the American Reading Company, or the District’s CSE Coach.
      • The district has created a Remote Learning Help page for staff and a Remote Learning Help page for students/families. The resources found on both help pages are reflective of the July 2020 surveys and continue to be updated.    
    • The district ensures student data privacy and security will be maintained and that the school and/or district are in compliance with Federal and State laws related to student technology use, including NY Education Law 2-d and Part 121 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.   
    • The district is striving to streamlining the number of different tools that students will be expected to utilize after an assessment of the effectiveness of digital tools, platforms, and resources utilized during school closures. In addition to streamlining digital tools, Midlakes has created a brief guide that compares the digital campus to a physical campus (i.e. Zoom as a virtual classroom).  This guide is available on the Remote Learning Help pages.     
    • The district seeks to provide both support and flexibility to students when designing remote/blended/online learning experiences.
    • View Digital Campus Document