District Technology Plan » Balanced Learning

Balanced Learning

 A BALANCED approach to teaching and learning has been an emphasis in the Mentor Schools since 2015. This balanced approach involves three critical areas that when all working together provide an ideal learning environment for our students. The three areas are technology, space and instruction.

 

TECHNOLOGY has always been an area of focus for our staff and students. In 2015, the district began moving away from shared devices (labs / carts of computers) to a one to one (1:1) approach. This push for 1:1 centered on providing an equitable experience for all of our students. The integration of 1:1 technology devices for students began in the middle school in 2014. In the next two years, grade levels and buildings were added until we were fully 1:1 with iPads at the the middle school level during the 15-16 school year. In 2015, the district used funds from the Straight A Grant to purchase MacBooks for all students at Mentor High School. Through sustainability funds, new MacBooks have been purchased each year since for incoming 9th grade students. The district went 1:1 in grades K-5 during the 2017-18 school year. In Kindergarten through second grade students use iPads and in third grade through fifth grade students use Chromebooks. This first component (1:1 technology) of our balanced approach was fully ready for the 18-19 school year.

Grade Device LMS
K-2 iPad SeeSaw
3-5 Chromebook Schoology or Google Classroom
6-8 iPad Schoology
9-12 MacBook Schoology

 

SPACE plays an important role for a balanced approach to teaching and learning. In 2014, as individual technology devices were starting to be used, a need for flexible classroom space was realized. The district began the implementation of a multi-year plan to fully renovate learning spaces across the district to support our balanced approach. Details of this plan can be found below. You can also read about how space has influenced teaching and learning as the district was featured in this Steelcase furniture article.

 INSTRUCTION is the last component of our balanced approach. Recognizing that if we provided technology and updated learning spaces to our teachers and students, we also needed to provide professional learning to support the instructional shifts that we were hoping to make. Learning Management Systems (LMS), Project Based Learning (PBL), models of blended learning (specifically the rotation model), G-Suite applications, and specific training on programs the district has purchased to support our learning shifts (Playposit, Brainpop, Classkick, Nearpod, etc.) have all been areas of focus for professional learning. Learn more about the district's plan for professional learning in the area of technology by visiting the Professional Learning tab.
ONLINE LEARNING OPTIONS
A variety of online learning options were offered to families for the 2020-2021 school year. 
  • Kindergarten through 5th grade had an opportunity to receive instruction in a full online environment for the entire 20-21 school year.  The district has 36 MSO teachers at grades K-5 to meet the demand of students who chose this learning path.
  • In 6th grade through 12th grade, families had the opportunity to choose a full online environment as well.  Theses students learned synchronously each day by joining their class through Zoom.
  • Our 9th - 12th grade students also have an option to participate in asynchronous courses (ELA 9-12, World History, US History, Government, Economics along with a selection of elective courses) 
The district is continuing to look at plans for Mentor Schools Online (MSO) to be an option for all families in all grade levels for the 2021-2022 school year and beyond.