Skip to content
Quick Start for:

Table of Contents

A. Student Performance
B. Curriculum Development and Evaluation
C. Staff Development
D. Compensatory Education
E. Bilingual/English as a Second Language
F. Career and Technology Education (CATE)
G. Gifted and Talented Program
H. Special Student Populations
I. Instructional Technology

BACKGROUND

TEA has updated the original plan for technology to reflect these changes and has recommended goals for 1996-2010. The Long-Range Plan for Technology 1996-2010 provides recommendations in four key areas: teaching and learning, educator preparation and development, administration and support services, and infrastructure for technology. Within each area there are goals for the short-term (1996-98), mid-term (1999-2002), and long-term (2003-2010).

A key recommendation for local school districts is providing a computer workstation for every student by 2010. By the end of 2002, the goal is to have three students for every workstation.

Texas public school districts generally contract for computing needs externally and maintain an internal department to provide support in both technical services and training. External agencies or organizations, such as the RESC VIII, perform specific computer-supported tasks for an organization, such as the processing of payroll checks, student grades, or financial information.

CURRENT SITUATION

The MPISD Districtwide Technology Department, which supports instructional computing and the district's network, reports directly to the deputy superintendent for Instruction and Technology. This department provides support for software and hardware in these areas:

  • Software for student learning.
  • Training on instructional technology.
  • Maintenance of personal computer (PC) labs in the schools.
  • Support for library resources, including the Internet.
  • Network management.

The deputy superintendent, in concert with the District Technology Committee, has prepared a detailed five-year plan updated annually. The most recent update came in spring 1998. The plan includes a technology mission statement, district goals, an evaluation and assessment of achievements and needs, action plans to implement each objective and a timeline for accomplishment, and estimated budget requirements for each objective.

The Districtwide Technology Department consists of a network specialist and technician, network analyst and technician, software specialist and trainer, and secretary/work order assistant.

MPISD has 834 computers, including 494 Macintosh or Apple machines and 340 IBM or IBM clone computers. Of these, all are networked and Internet-accessible except for the IBM/clone computers at Brice, Fowler, and Sims Elementary Schools and Corprew Intermediate School. There is one workstation for approximately every five students. The number of computers by campus is shown in Exhibit 2-80.

Exhibit 2-80
MPISD Computers by Campus
1998-99
  Number of Computers
Campus Macintosh/Apple IBM/Clone
Child Development Center 30 22
Brice Elementary School 52 1
Fowler Elementary School 56 2
Sims Elementary School 52 27
Corprew Intermediate School 94 3
Wallace Middle School 72 2
Mt. Pleasant Junior High School 77 25
Mt. Pleasant High School 49 233
Central Support Services Building 12 17
Special Education Building 0 8
Total 494 340
Source: Deputy superintendent for Instruction and Technology and Special Program, MPISD.

Technology spending by MPISD is described in Exhibit 2-81.

Exhibit 2-81
MPID Expenditures for Technology
1996-97 through 1997-98
Source/Program 1996-97 1997-98
Emergency immigrant $899 $193
Head Start $11,301 $46,641
Eisenhower program $0 $90
Title I $87,486 $101,744
Migrant program $71,682 $1,712
Even Start $0 $23,770
Title VI $3,578 $12,885
Cafeteria $144 $4,226
CATE $35,996 $11,653
Technology allotment $147,665 $199,036
Other funds $25,031 $1,495
Local funds $506,379 $462,270
Total $890,161 $869,295
Per student total $203 $195
Source: MPISD deputy superintendent for Instruction and Technology.

MPISD participates in the Northeast Texas Regional Education Telecommunications Network (NTxRETN) through RESC VIII. NTxRETN links 47 districts, Texas A&M University - Commerce, Texas A&M University - Texarkana, North Texas Community College, Paris Junior College, Texarkana College, RESC VIII, and two centers for professional development and technology.

When Technology in Education (TIE), funding became available in 1997, RESC VIII developed a group application for Internet connectivity and basic infrastructure. The TIE grant of $1.6 million was shared among 20 districts with an average daily attendance of more than 1,000, including MPISD. Each district received a T1 line into the district and all of the essential equipment to centrally manage and monitor the system.

In June 1998, RESC VIII received a new $1.7 million TIE grant to expand the NTxRETN to add videoconferencing capabilities. This grant extended the NTxRETN to provide two-way interactive distance learning between local districts; other districts, colleges, and universities throughout Texas and the United States; and other participating institutions.

FINDING

MPISD operates a wide area network (WAN) branching out from the Central Support Services (CSS) building. Direct connections to the Internet are routed to every campus from the CSS building.

Multimedia workstations are located in every classroom in the district. These workstations are equipped with a color ink jet printer and software that will allow teachers to do gradebook, basic works programs, and at least one multimedia slide show application.

Local area networks (LAN) are completed at Mt. Pleasant Junior High School; Fowler and Brice Elementary Schools; the CSS building; the Education Support Services building; and Wallace Middle School. The district has received $84,000 in TIF grant funds and used the funds to complete the LAN at Sims Elementary School, Corprew Intermediate School, and the academic building at Mt. Pleasant High School.

All of the libraries in the district are automated and the librarians are pursuing training in the Texas Library Connections projects. All teachers and staff members demonstrate proficiency in using a computer prior to receiving one. The district provides training, or a teacher can receive training from an outside source. Advanced training is also available to teachers on a request basis.

Computer Assisted Instruction is offered to students at the junior high and high schools using PLATO 2000 courseware for TAAS remediation. Josten's software is offered to students at the Corprew, Sims, and Fowler campuses and plans are to phase this courseware out of the curriculum and replace it with software that meets more of the technology application TEKS requirements.

Future plans of the district are to place distance learning units for interactive video teleconferencing on each campus and to place computer labs of multimedia workstations on each campus.

COMMENDATION

MPISD has an advanced technology system that facilitates a broad range of learning opportunities for students and teachers.

FINDING

The two trainers employed by MPISD provide training in a variety of settings: group workshops centrally for all teachers and staff members, campus-based group training for smaller numbers of people, and individualized training in teacher classrooms. Trainers are assigned to work on campuses on a weekly basis. Teachers can sign up to work with a trainer during their conference period before or after school. Technology workshops are offered during the week on at least two days and on two Saturdays each month.

According to the trainers, the variety of forums accommodates the different learning needs of each person in the district and enhances their ability to use technology, especially in the classroom.

In response to the written survey conducted by TSPR, teachers responded positively about instructional technology and support for the classroom. When asked to grade the district's use of technology as an instructional tool on their campus, 69 percent responded with an "A" or a "B."

COMMENDATION

The Districtwide Technology Department's focus on individualized teacher training enhances classroom instruction.

FINDING

MPISD adopted a K-12 technology curriculum based upon TEKS requirements for each grade level. Campus budgets reflect resources allocated for the purpose of supporting teachers in their individual endeavors to teach technology TEKS with access to appropriate teaching supplies, software, and specialized training.

The District Technology Committee worked in conjunction with the Districtwide Technology Department and the deputy superintendent for Instruction and Technology during the spring of 1998 to develop a set of proficiencies that the district requires of all teachers. This program is called the New Phase I Training Program and ensures that teachers get the necessary skills they need in order to implement the Technology TEKS in their classroom.

The first year of the program requires that teachers show mastery in the following basic strategies: word processing, spreadsheet, database, graphics, multimedia slideshow, Internet navigation basics, and campus gradebook program.

The teacher can show mastery of the above skills by submitting a disk to their building principal for approval. The building principal has the option of going and observing the teacher using these skills. A set of proficiencies for each of the above-mentioned skills has been developed, and the teacher must be able to demonstrate mastery of each of these. Principals are also encouraged to look for these skills during each teacher's evaluation.

During the second year of the program the teacher must show mastery in the following set of strategies and submit lesson plans showing that they have used them in their classroom with their students: advanced Internet navigation; advanced slide show in either Hyperstudio, Kid Pix Studio, or Powerpoint; and advanced content-specific software that involves the whole class or

a group of students in the class.

During the third and fourth years of the program, each teacher is asked to master four new software applications or new skills for software applications that they are already trained in over a two-year period. The teachers can request training for the software. They must use these software applications with their students in the form of projects. The project must be put on a disk and turned into the campus technology committee on their campus. Software proficiencies were developed by the District Technology Committee for all of the major software applications owned by the district. The project is rated using the sets of proficiencies and returned to the teacher for credit or for revision.

Supporting this curriculum, MPISD has over 50 different pieces of software available for checkout from the Districtwide Technology Department. These programs are geared toward helping teachers improve cooperative learning in the classroom. Students engaged in problem solving actually improve in the areas of acquisition and retention of content skills throughout the curriculum.

COMMENDATION

MPISD has adopted a technology curriculum that will increase the skills of students and teachers and has developed a process to monitor implementation.

FINDING

In 1994-95, MPISD put together a district technology committee and began to develop a long-range plan. A lease purchase program with Apple Computer was implemented during 1995-96 that allowed the district to acquire 158 computers, triple the amount of hardware they would have been able to purchase with only the state technology allotment. The lease was extended in 1996-97 so the district could acquire 58 more computers and additional printers.

COMMENDATION

MPISD has used a lease-purchase arrangement to expand computer technology.