Meet Dr. Roland Rios and Jeannine Freeman, Fort Sam Houston ISD
Clarity Implementation at FSHISD
Fort Sam Houston ISD is a small district located in the Fort Sam Houston U.S. joint base in San Antonio. Because of their military population, the school faces unique challenges such as high mobility and parent deployment.
The district has been supporting a 1:1 Chromebook and Google Apps for Education implementation at the high school campus for several years. Their belief is that in the 21st Century classroom, technology plays a major role in learning, and therefore the school offers rich technological opportunities for all students. The campus is fully wireless and teachers have received extensive staff development to ensure a sound, research-based use of technology.
The district is in its second year of Clarity data collection to assess how the implementation is going and how it is impacting learning. Not only school leaders have been able to identify and celebrate what they are doing well, but they have also pinpointed areas that need attention, specifically in the Classroom strand of CASE. The data even helped support the addition of an Instructional Technology Specialist position, which in turn has increased just-in-time professional development opportunities and classroom support.
Students at Cole HS are issued Chromebooks at the beginning of the school year. They are allowed to take them home and keep them on weekends and school breaks. When asked about their digital environment, students shared the following:
- They appreciate the fact that Chromebooks are like any other school supply that can be used anytime as needed. As opposed to other schools, teachers do not have to roll a cart into the classroom so they can be used for one activity at a time.
- They are able to do more and use more resources throughout the day instead of in isolated instances.
- They take turns taking notes in class using Google Drive and share resources so they all have access to the same information.
- When doing homework or working on assignments, they collaborate, chat and share comments on a regular basis.
The Multimedia classroom is a busy place where students apply their creative thinking to transform ideas into tangible products. Students are proud to share their cartoon videos, which sometimes took 90 or more frames to design. Their teacher is discussing the possibility of an upcoming film festival where these and many other multimedia projects would be showcased.
Cole High School has one of the highest CASE scores in the region (and the state), which places the campus at an advanced level in the CASE scale. Access at home and at school is exemplary, both Skills and Environment are mostly advanced, and Classroom is proficient in all success indicators. This data is not only the result of a great implementation and targeted actions, but of real synergy between the Curriculum and Technology departments, and of invaluable support from the superintendent and the Fort Sam Houston community.