Q3 detail - Maintain, Improve, Invest - North Branch Area Public Schools

Question 3 detail
 
Question 3: Invest in classroom technology

On May 23, North Branch Area School district residents will be asked to vote on three school funding requests. Question 3 asks for approval of a $500,000 per year 10-year technology levy to invest in classroom technology to support student learning in a rapidly changing world. Funds would be used to:

- Maintain up-to- date, high quality instructional technology and resources
- Provide students access to digital tools and learning resources, creating equity across all grade levels
- Support teachers with the tools and resources required for effective instruction and learning
- Provide a stable source of funding for technology teaching tools
- Waive the $40 protection plan for families in the 1:1 computer initiative (2018-19 school year)
 


Additional Background on Technology Use and Needs in NBAPS
 
In the North Branch Area Public Schools we are committed to providing a “Learning of Tomorrow” atmosphere that includes instruction, learning and technology, as we help students building the essential skills and knowledge they must posses to be successful in school, work and life.  While mastering the core subject areas, students must also develop skills that include communication, creativity, innovation, global citizenship, critical thinking, and collaboration.
 
In a “Learning of Tomorrow” system, technology must be used comprehensively and purposefully to support students in mastering a full range of what they need to learn - core subjects, Learning of Tomorrow themes, and Learning of Tomorrow skills.
 
Approval of a technology levy (Q3) would help ensure that our students continue to receive the high-quality curriculum, instruction, and educational tools they deserve.
 
How would the Technology Levy help my child?
 
The money raised by the Technology Levy would be used to purchase and upgrade instructional technology equipment for students, provide technology support, and support teachers with tools, materials, and resources required for a high-quality instruction.
 
The Technology Levy would also strengthen the District’s fiscal stability by providing significant and much needed financial relief to the District General Fund, which is used for day-to-day operating expense – but which is currently the only funding source for classroom technology needs.
 
The Technology Levy dollars would touch every student, in every classroom, at every level of the District.  The money would be used to:

- Purchase up-to-date, high quality instructional technology and resources.
- Provide students access to digital resources, connecting and adapting classroom learning to a rapidly changing world.
- Support teachers with the tools and resources required for effecting instruction and learning. 
- What would the Technology Levy mean for our teachers?
 
Our teachers are the finest resource for delivering excellent learning experiences to our students.  Tech levy funds would have an impact on our teachers by:

- Enhancing their ability to provide well-maintained classroom technology equipment and digital materials for curricular areas such as literature, business, science, project lead the way, industrial technology, art, music, video libraries and research resources for our media centers.
- Increasing teacher access to digital resources, which would improve the ability of our staff to access dynamic and relevant teaching tools and increase student interest and engagement.
- Improving the ability of our teachers to communicate with families through effective and efficient technology tools and services. 

Doesn’t the District already have a lot of technology?
 
North Branch Area Public Schools has a history of providing our students and staff with an excellent education.  This has been accomplished through the delivery of instruction by exceptional teachers, using high quality, well maintained, and current equipment.  In order to continue to build on this tradition, our technology resources must be reviewed, maintained, and upgraded to meet the current and future needs of our students and staff – and that requires dedicated funding sources.
- Curriculum and Technology resources are carefully reviewed and researched on a regular cycle.
- Classroom and teacher technology resources, such as computers, are typically replaced on a cycle of 5-7 years.
- Student 1:1 devices, such as Chromebooks, are typically replaced on a cycle of 3-4 years. 

How did the District determine it needed $500,000 per year through a Technology Levy?
 
For technology resources and support, the District determined the total cost of ownership of computers, infrastructure, software licensing, repair/maintenance, and support.
 
The purchase of new technology equipment and resources are determined by a yearly review process in curricular, equipment, and infrastructure needs.  The review process includes feedback from students, teachers, and administration across the district.
 
District technology and resources needs range from ongoing maintenance and support of current curriculum to purchase instruction supplies, services, and equipment as new curriculum is adopted.  The levy funds would enable the District to support and purchase up-to-date technology resources needed in the classroom such as computers and equipment for science, project lead the way, music, art, literature and industrial technology.  The levy would also replace resources to respond to the changing state and national standards, as well as replace outdated and obsolete technology resources.
 
What happens if the Technology Levy is not approved?
 
- Failure to pass the Capital Project Levy would greatly decrease our ability to provide up-to-date student and staff equipment and materials, including such items for business, science, project lead the way, industrial technology, art, music, video libraries and research resources for classrooms and media centers.
- Not having this levy would greatly decrease or eliminate our ability to provide technology and digital resources to our students and staff.
- The district would have to continue with aging and out-of-date district, classroom and student technology.
- Without a Technology Levy, there would be a significant impact on the District General Fund.  The District would be forced to reduce technology and digital resource expenditures, along with potential programs and services, making it harder to support and give our students the most up-to-date learning experience.

Learn more about Q1 and Q2.