Oneida Nation Schools Technology Initiative
The Oneida Nation School System does not currently have a regular technology budget. The result is that purchases were either made by finding funds in the annual educational budget or through grants and programs like the federal stimulus program or the Striving Readers Grant. The result is that many purchases that were made through these programs have become outdated and in need of replacement at a time when school budgets are growing smaller.
Recently ONSS received a court settlement as part of a federal lawsuit that provided a sizable sum. The Oneida Nation School Board directed administration to survey staff as to what needs they saw and report back to the board. The survey covered three areas: instruction, safety and technology. Both the instruction and technology portions of the survey contained results related to providing increased technology opportunities for staff and students.
The Oneida Nation School Board has determined that a portion of the settlement should be put in trust to provide for future needs. School Administration has developed a plan for immediate purchases that will be paid for using funds from the settlement and other available funds. Plans have been shared with the tribal MIS department who will help support this effort. Staff also had an opportunity to visit the Peshtigo School District to look at how they rolled out a similar effort.
Key focuses in developing this plan include the following:
- How will the technology integrate with current technology including Microsoft Office and Google Apps for Education
- Can the technology be easily managed by school staff and MIS
- How can we ensure equal access to all students in given grade levels