ERIC Number: EJ713504
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-May-1
Reference Count: N/A
Southern California Catholic School, Community Praise Web-Based Communication Solution
T.H.E. Journal, v32 n10 p47 May 2005
The No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law with an aggressive goal of improving the academic performance of all students and eliminating the achievement gap between different races and classes. NCLB also required the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to make recommendations for a National Education Technology Plan, which was released in January 2005. This plan highlights the global competition the United States will face over the next decade and the important role technology will play in that competitive framework. The impact of NCLB is felt nationwide on many fronts. Schools and districts have been forced to examine their standards and find ways to improve. Often, the weight of NCLB is most heavily felt in schools lacking financial resources. St. Barbara School, located in Santa Ana, Calif., is a sound example of a school working hard to meet the requirements and standards set by these policies with a limited technology budget. St. Barbara is a K-8 school comprised of about 480 students and 22 teachers, with English being the second language for about 80% of the school and local community. The school is located in a transitional area with a high population of new immigrants, especially Hispanic and Vietnamese. And as families become more financially and culturally established, they often relocate. This makes it essential for the school to continually market for new students by offering a progressive academic curriculum and a technology plan that gets parents involved. St. Barbara was facing three major challenges: finding the best solution to communicate school information to its greater community, completing the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation process, and finding innovative ways to market the school for new enrollment. After two years of searching for a cost-effective solution to meet the above goals, the staff at St. Barbara contacted SchoolFusion (www.schoolfusion.com) and found its school communication solution met all of their needs. The SchoolFusion Calendar enables the school to share important events with the community through its Web site. This calendar is updatable by nontechnical school staff and is easy for community members to use--many of whom have little or no technical knowledge. Although SchoolFusion is inexpensive, St. Barbara did not have funding for its first year. However, parents were excited about the addition of SchoolFusion, and knowing the profits from the school's holiday fund-raiser would directly support the new technology resulted in a hugely successful program. The school's annual jog-a-thon and casino night also helped fund the program. In addition, parents are encouraging employers to help the school through donations of used computers and matching grant programs. According to the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education, everyone benefits when schools and families work together. Its studies have shown that by working together, students do better in school and life, parents become empowered, teacher morale increases, schools get better, and communities grow stronger.
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, Computer Mediated Communication, Technology Integration, Computer Uses in Education, Web Sites, Fund Raising, Catholic Schools, Parent Participation, Parent School Relationship
T.H.E. Institute, 18528 Westside Hwy., Vashon, WA 98070. Web site: http://www.thejournal.com/institute/contactus.cfm.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001