C6 Bond

“Educating Compassionate and Creative Global Citizens”

The mission of the Oak Park Unified School District is rooted in the belief that all students should receive an educational experience that is differentiated, engaging and innovative. This moral imperative has been one of the guiding influences that has shaped the district’s emphasis on providing the appropriate tools in the classroom to prepare students for the world and workplace they will soon be entering.  Computer technology has advanced rapidly since the invention of the personal computer democratized access to information processing. Computing has quickly grown beyond data storage and retrieval to being an indispensable utility for providing ubiquitous access to information and analysis, an enabler for concurrent collaboration, and a platform for creativity and expression of ideas.

Through technology, students graduate beyond being consumers of information, to becoming producers of meaning and architects of change to a worldwide audience.

Since the passage of Measure R and Measure C6 in 2006, the district has invested heavily in ensuring that teachers and students had access to the appropriate technology tools and infrastructure to allow innovative and engaging learning that utilized the strengths of emerging computing tools.

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Measure C6, and to a lesser extent, Measure R, have played a critical role in helping Oak Park Unified School District build the technology infrastructure to allow the district to be innovative in its approach to using computing tools to enhance teaching and learning. Since 2007, expenditures of C6 funds in support of technology implementation have largely fallen under two broad categories, Network Infrastructure, and Teaching and Learning Tools (computing devices and peripherals).

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Network Infrastructure

  • Data cabling to each classroom and fiber optic lines to connect buildings

  • Network switches to service classroom data drops, WiFi access, Security Cameras, and internet based telephone Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)

  • File servers and data backup storage arrays for storing student and staff data files

  • Network security appliances (network firewalls)

  • Internet web content filters

  • WiFi network controllers and access points

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Teaching and Learning Tools

  • Interactive whiteboards and projectors for all classrooms (SMARTboards)

  • Computing devices such as laptops, tablet computers (iPads), Chromebooks, etc. for students and staff

  • Computer Labs, Carts, and learning centers

  • Peripherals (such as document cameras, student responders/clickers, printers, etc.)

  • Copiers/Multi Functional Devices and 3D Printers

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Richo Copiers

These investments have allowed the district since 2007 to advance teaching and learning with technology through three phases:

  • Phase 1: Teachers presenting lessons using technology

  • Phase 2: Students visit with technology on an occasional basis

  • Phase 3: Students use technology daily as an indispensable tool for access, practice, collaboration, and creation.

Student Nutrition Equipment

Music Department Equipment

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Practical Arts Equipment

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Equipment

21st Century Classroom

The 21 st Century Classroom initiative which C6 funded in large part provided teachers with a laptop, an interactive whiteboard, document camera, and student responders, along with a first generation network infrastructure that allowed the district’s computers to be networked and files to be stored and backed up on file servers. Computer labs were built at each school and mobile carts of laptops (Computers On Wheels – COWs) were also provisioned through C6. This allowed the district to progress through Phase 1 and Phase 2 transformations of teaching and learning.

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The popularization of the smartphone and the invention of the first commercially successful tablet computer in 2010 (the iPad) signaled a major shift in how society interacted with computing technology. For the first time, mobile devices made computing truly personal, and ubiquitous access to the Internet started to dramatically shift the landscape of business and culture. By 2013, technologists proclaimed that society had entered a postPC world. The mobile computing revolution has changed the balance of power and altered the calculus of what it takes to become successful in a collaboration stoked economy.

Beginning in 2013, the district began a pivot to address this reality and embarked on a multi year plan to rebuild its network and infrastructure to support a learning environment built upon the platform of mobile computing with the goal of shifting more of the locus of control and experience of technology beyond the teacher as instructor and into the hands of students. This would allow the district to advance into Phase 3 where computing technology becomes so ingrained into the fabric of learning that it fades into the background as a tool no more special than a pencil, binder, or textbook. The ultimate goal is to build toward a 1to1 computer to student learning environment where every student has access to their own computing device every day and it becomes the conduit toward differentiation, engagement and collaboration.

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The Network Infrastructure funded by Measure C6 has a finite life expectancy after which the equipment needs to be refreshed due to obsolescence and the end of support by the vendor.

Because of this, the district has planned for a recurring refresh cycle for each type of network infrastructure equipment after the initial units were purchased beginning in 2007.

The district recognizes that bond funds will not be able to sustain an ongoing 1to1 mobile computing initiative for students, but the bonds have been able to provide the seed units upon which the district can move closer toward a 1to1 initiative. The computers and mobile devices that have been purchased through bond funds have helped to train both teachers and students on how to use the technology tools effectively to enhance teaching and learning, allowing the district to develop the best practices that would be critical to ensuring a successful 1to1 mobile device deployment. It is the district’s intention to build upon this knowledge base and to investigate other more sustainable means to funding a full 1to1 computing initiative including Bring Your Own Device programs, parent Lease To Own programs, restructuring of the district general fund, or a combination of all of those options.

Classroom technology by itself has never been the ultimate goal nor destination for the district. Rather, classroom technology is viewed as an effective platform upon which instruction and learning can be differentiated (each student receiving what they need to master the curriculum unique to their own learning styles and modalities), engaging (software that is well designed and draws each student into an interactive, adaptive learning situation with the chance for individualized remediation), and collaborative (multiple students working together to accomplish a learning goal or to produce a group product), and is able to draw the student into an active role in their daily experience. Such a learning platform can only be stable and sustainable if it is built upon a solid foundation of three pillars :

1) A robust network infrastructure

2) Sufficient personnel resources devoted to staff training on effective use of the technology tools

3) The proper level of resources applied to system maintenance and support.

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Measure R has added to some of the infrastructure funded by C6 to enable the district to deploy upgraded security and communication assets that have improved school safety. Most important among these tools include a district wide surveillance camera system and a new district wide classroom telephone system.

The security camera system not only improves campus security without turning a school campus into a walled off fortress, it has been a deterrent to malicious behavior and has even been used to apprehend thieves who attempted to steal and resell district computing resources.

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pg19The new Voice Over Internet Protocol telephone system also improves school safety by streamlining communications and allowing the district for the first time to have true districtwide dialing so any room could be reached by any other room or office in the district (which was not true with the old telephone system).

Together, C6 and Measure R have combined to enhance teaching and learning while also improving campus safety and communications.