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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Denver shares its Schoolnet experience

Sen. John Goedde, back row center, presides over Monday's meeting of the
Sen. John Goedde, back row center, presides over Monday's meeting of the "Students Come First" Technology Task Force. (Betsy Russell)

Idaho's Students Come First Technology Task Force is now hearing from representatives of the Denver Public Schools Instructional Management System. "As much as we love the technology piece, it's really not about technology, it's really about teaching," Jason Martinez told the group. "What we hope to do is accelerate the busy work."

Megan Marquez told the group that in setting up its instructional management system, Denver decided to develop a portal around Schoolnet, the same program Idaho is about to implement. "Schoolnet predicted it would take three months" to set up, Marquez said. "It did not." It actually took two years to load all the curriculum information and other pieces into the Schoolnet system, she said. The system links assessment data and curriculum, and can be accessed by teachers, counselors and others.

Denver teacher Waunita Vann said she was initially leery of dealing with the data system, but found it extremely helpful in dealing with at-risk students. "It really has just revolutionized the way we work," she said. Where it might have taken six weeks to figure out what was going on with a problem student, the data is now at her fingertips, she said, all the way back to grade school, and she can work with other teachers and school staffers to develop a plan for that student in a matter of days. "We have been able to make intentional one-on-one intervention plans for students," she said, and get started on them without delay.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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