High technology is changing at the speed of light, and the Central Valley School District doesn’t want to miss a beat.
The district has developed a committee of 20 parents, staff members and teachers to research new developments and decide what direction schools should head in.
The committee is considering “where do we best put our money to help kids be ready to go?” said CV spokesman Skip Bonuccelli.
Parents on the committee aren’t exactly starting from scratch. One is a technical writer. Another does Internet training for Educational Service District 101. A third is a technology coordinator for Eastern Washington University.
But “no one is there to sell their company wares,” said Mike Pearson, director of high school education.
The district advertised in October for people interested in being on the committee. It met for the first time in late November.
Since January, at least one subcommittee - with topics such as networking, hardware and on-line services - has been meeting almost every week night. Additional members, beyond the main committee, staff the subcommittees.
“It’s been real active,” Pearson said.
The committee hopes to develop a district technology plan for the next two to five years, Pearson said. Committee members will present the plan to the school board by July.
Central Valley’s two high schools - CV and University have the most advanced equipment in the district, including computer-assisted-design laboratories. Most high schools are assisted with vocational funding from the state government.
But the middle and elementary schools are quickly getting up to speed as well. All have had computer labs for about the past 10 years, district officials said.
And thousands of dollars continue to pour into school coffers - from parent-teacher organizations - for newer and better equipment.
At elementary schools during the 1994-95 school year, Greenacres’ PTSA donated $4,267 for computers, McDonald’s PTO gave the school $3,690.69, Ponderosa received $1,885, Blake, $2,363 and University, $6,000.
Technology committee members are not looking for the most advanced equipment, Pearson said. They’re trying to find equipment that best supports curriculum.
“The curriculum must drive the technology,” Pearson said, not the other way around. “That’s the banner we’re waving.”