The District 106 Board of Education, administration, and staff have been at or near the leading edge of educational technology for over 20 years. Beginning with computer labs, classroom computers, connecting every classroom to the Internet (1995), laptops for every staff member (2004), classroom projectors and sound reinforcement in every classroom (2006), one-to-one computers for students in grades 6-8 (2008), one-to-one computers for students in 5th grade (2009), and one-to-one iPads for students in grades 2-4 (2017-2019), our students have benefitted greatly from an increasing ability to customize instruction to meet student needs.
The primary function of the technology department at District 106 is to provide and maintain the infrastructure, tools, and expertise to allow the implementation of a personalized learning model for our students. In 2014 the District 106 Technology Committee developed the following vision and mission statements:
Vision: To create and support differentiated virtual learning environments.
Mission: Advance District 106 Strategic Priorities by utilizing innovative technology to facilitate independent and small group differentiated instruction, publish to authentic audiences, and increase communication with all district stakeholders.
The district's philosophy towards technology as a facilitator of a quality education can be summed up with these belief statements:
- We believe that effective and continual professional development for educators and administrators is critical to our district’s ability to achieve sustainable growth in student achievement.
- We believe all students deserve comprehensive access to a wide range of educational technologies to provide the most differentiated educational opportunities possible.
- We believe the essential "teaching" of core technology skills is most critical in the primary grades (K-5).
- We believe that technology should enable collaboration without restrictions of location or time.
- We believe students should be producers.
At LaGrange Highlands School District 106, we take information security seriously. To maintain the confidentiality and integrity of information and data, including our student data, District 106 has implemented targeted processes and procedures. These can be categorized as:
Personalized learning has been a priority at Highlands since the fall of 2008 when the board of education accepted a recommendation from teachers, administrators, and community members to issue every student in grades 6 through 8 a personal laptop to use 24x7 during the school year. This gave our students instant access to information on the Internet, productivity apps to create writing, audio, and video projects, and to have voice in both the way they learned and the methods they used to demonstrate what they had learned. In 2009 that program was expanded to include 5th grade. In the spring of 2017 the school board voted to extend the personalized learning initiative to second grade over the next three years. Individual iPads were issued to 4th grade students in the fall of 2017, 3rd grade students in the fall of 2018, and 2nd grade students in the fall of 2019. Kindergarten and first grade students were issued individual iPads in the fall of 2020.
Assessment Scores / PowerSchool / Schoology
For many years, students, parents, and teachers have had access to a comprehensive list of test results through the District 106 Assessment Portal. The portal is an in-house data warehouse that connects to all of the important testing services that District 106 uses to track and predict student performance. Parents and students alike can keep tabs on scores to make sure learners are on-track to meet their growth goals. Teachers and administrators use this same data to plan and implement instruction that is personalized to each student’s needs.
District 106 uses Schoology as our learning management platform, Powerschool as our Student Information System, and G Suite for student productivity and collaboration. We also participate in Project Lead the Way in our middle school to give students experience in engineering and hands-on science.
Acceptable Use Policy
All students and their parent/guardian are required to sign the district's Acceptable Use Policy to gain access to district computing resources. You can find a copy of that policy here.
Student Data Access
District 106 follows best practices in establishing and managing system and network access security. Access to student data is managed and controlled through what is known as role-based security. This means that the type and amount of access to student data and other information is governed in our systems by the role which any staff member holds along with what information they require to perform their job as a trusted member of District 106 staff. Staff members must go through a process to gain access to authorized information that includes successfully logging into the District network or one of the systems they use as part of their job duties.
Once a staff member logs in using this method, the internal application controls, role based security, and application permissions restrictions are engaged which limit the data read, write, add, or delete functionality and are specific to a staff member’s role in the District.
District 106 has filters and firewalls in place to protect our students from accessing harmful information on the Internet and protect the privacy of our student information.
The District also follows all rules set forth by state and federal government such as the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Illinois School Student Records Act, and a recent Illinois law called SOPPA (Student Online Privacy and Protection Act).
District 106 Uses the Student Data Privacy Consortium to help us manage Data Privacy Agreements (DPA’s) as required by state law. You can click here for our state page that lists state DPA’s that District 106 has entered into and the data elements for each of our products that we use. Some companies do not sign-on to the statewide DPA’s and those agreements are available below:
- Notice of Parent Rights Regarding Student Covered Information
- Parent Request Form for Student Covered Information
- Parent Request Form for Correction of Student Covered Information
FERPA / COPPA
In the spring of 2017 District 106 engaged with Education Frameworks as a resource to evaluate the websites and applications that are used by students. Education Frameworks reviews the privacy policies of the companies that develop and distribute programs and services schools use and scores them based on the following criteria:
- Collected data used for school purposes only
- Parents ability to request deletion of student data
- Ability of parents to make such requests via an online form
- Student data transfers protected by encryption
- Backup of student data
- Data retention for school purposes only
- Student data stored in encrypted formats
More FERPA Information and Documents...
Parents/guardians have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School District to comply with the student record requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Such complaints may be sent to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
Student Data - More Information
The primary repository of student data is our Student Information System, Powerschool. Powerschool maintains student demographics, household contact information, enrollments, attendance, grades, schedules, transcripts, discipline, bus, lockers, and health information. District 106 uses PowerIEP to store IEP information. The District does not retain student Social Security Numbers within any system.
In addition to Powerschool, District 106 also maintains multiple supporting systems that assist in running daily operations. Based on need, some student data is routinely transferred between these applications through a variety of secure and encrypted system integration processes. Physical access to the data centers and the servers that house this data are limited to a small group of network and system administrators in the ITS Department. These data centers are also secured with fire protection and power backup capabilities. We also take routine backups of key systems and data which are securely stored and protected. With the evolution of cloud based solutions, the District also subscribes to some externally hosted applications which are integrated with our student information system through encrypted data communications. Data transferred includes basic student information such as names and schedules so students can log into applications and access curricular materials configured by the District. Below is a list of various outside agencies that the District provides data to or receives data from:
- NWEA - MAP
We pride ourselves on professional and responsive technology support. The District 106 help desk is available to assist with student and staff needs during its regular hours of 7:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. during the school year. If you have a problem with your school issued computer, the best thing to do is to bring it to the help desk for us to take a look at. If repairs are needed, a loaner will be issued. If you have a tech issue that does not require immediate attention, please fill out a workorder and we will address your issue as we are able. The help desk can also be reached at 708-485-3303 via an outside line or at x3303 internally.
Learning Resource Center
Another program District 106 has created internally is our card catalog / LRC management system. Students, parents, and staff can search for books related to their current area of study or just for recreation. The system is connected to our Assessment Portal to retrieve each student's Lexile level to further help young readers select books appropriate for them. In 2015 we expanded the card catalog to include our "Leveled Library" books which are tied to student Fountas and Pinnell reading level. These books are used by classroom teachers to improve student fluency, comprehension, and love for reading.
Google Apps for Education
The District provides all students with a Google Apps for Education Account. This account allows students to collaborate and share documents with their teacher and fellow students and is an essential component of the classroom. We share limited information with Google solely for account creation purposes. This data, and any data created as a function of using a Google Apps for Education account, belongs to District 106. This type of account is different from having a personal gmail account. Google does not scan student content or email for advertising purposes as they do with regular consumer accounts. Please review the Google Apps for Education Privacy Statement at http://www.google.com/edu/privacy.html
District 106 maintains social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Our district facebook account is the place where we celebrate all things District 106. Student successes, new programs, performances, and awards will all be featured on our facebook page. Each of our two schools has its own Twitter account to share timely bits of information that parents and the community can use to stay up-to-date with important information and deadlines in addition to quick picture shares of what is going on in our schools. The district office also has its own twitter account to push out emergency information along with information about registration, district programs, and other information that is timely in nature. Please follow or like us...
- Twitter - District Account - @District106
- Twitter - Highlands Elementary School - @hes106hornets
- Twitter - Highlands Middle School - @hms106hornets
- Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/district106
A safe and secure environment for our employees to work and our students to learn is paramount at District 106. To support those ends, about 60 security cameras have been deployed by the technology department to record and monitor the building and grounds of District 106. Designated district officials have the ability to access live images or recorded footage from anywhere in the world if needed.
Every classroom in District 106 is fully wired for video and sound with HD Epson projectors and sound systems. Additionally, elementary classrooms all have sound reinforcement systems that allow the teacher’s instructions or lesson to rise above the level of classroom noise to make sure every student can hear what is going on.
The district’s public spaces such as the middle school gym and lunchroom, elementary school multi-purpose room, and conference rooms across the district are also served by high-quality AV solutions that support meetings, performances, and assemblies that range from a few to as many as six hundred people.
With the personalized learning approach that the district has adopted, solid wifi access is our front-line application and we pay close attention to it. District 106 has had universal Wi-Fi coverage since 2006. We currently supports the newest 802.11ac Wave 2 specification. Guest network access is available in public spaces including gyms, lunchrooms, the LRC, and conference rooms. Guest access requires a pass. Contact any school or district office for help obtaining a guest pass.
Capacity, reliability, and redundancy are the priorities for providing our stakeholders with access to the Internet. The district currently has redundant internet connections with two separate providers that allow over 1000 mb/s, even in the event of one connection having an issue. Web access is filtered and scanned for inappropriate content, malware, and intrusion attempts. The data that is generated is shared with district administration and the board of education to make sure our connection is delivering the performance and security our students deserve.
Live District 106 Tech Stats...