VTSD Tech News

May Edition

A Note from the Tech Guy

Done with PARCC, half way through MP4, planning graduation - there is a light at the end of the tunnel! As we near the beginning of Summer, the following are tech plans for the end of school, summer plans, and what is in store for next school year in the way of technology.

District-Wide Tech

Here are a few items that will affect everyone in the district:
  • PowerSchool - we are doing a big upgrade to PowerSchool this summer. PowerTeacher will look a little different - we will have workshops leading up to school and in the month of September to get everyone comfortable
  • Oncourse - Lesson plans starting in September - we will also have some curriculum loaded and can work on teacher websites for those interested
  • MyBigCampus - MBC will officially end July 2016. We have a committee exploring possible options for 15-16 and beyond - more as we figure it out
  • Ongoing Software - Google Apps, Discovery Ed, and IEP Direct will keep moving forward - great job this year learning and integrating so quickly!

New Hardware

  • Chromebooks - we will be one-to-one in grades 5-8 with 1100+ devices
  • Classroom Laptops - We will send the dell netbooks off in to the sunset and send more lenovo laptops to K-4 increasing from 5 to 6 laptops per classroom
  • SMART - we will begin upgrading the dell projectors to classroom appropriate, wall mounted projectors in mainly LH and WR. We will also be upgrading many speakers (or lack of speakers) to classroom appropriate speakers
  • Digital Signs - Mainly for the HS but a few at the other buildings, we will have dedicated displays with "today's announcements" (see the screenshot below)

Summer Refresh - WR, RH, & CM

To keep the laptops updated and up to speed, we "image" the teacher laptops at least every 24 months. WR, RH, & CM - it is your turn to be updated! Please be sure to save all of your files. We will be collecting the laptops the last week of school and will have them all ready for pickup by the first week of July. We will send more out on this as the end of school approaches.

Champion Spotlight: Lisa Hirkaler

This month's tech spotlight comes from the High School with Lisa Hirkaler! Lisa had a vision of using technology to engage students and collaborate on art projects with an Apple tv. Now as the students find great works of art or as they create art, they can share with the whole class. Thanks for your hard work integrating a new district technology and congratulations Lisa on being elected the Sussex County Teacher of the Year!
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Quote of the Month...

"Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important."

- Bill Gates


We are planning our third annual Academy Week - a week of technology workshops in the Summer - put it on your calendar now!

  • CYBER MONDAY - July 13th Learn from your laptop at home!
  • TECH CAMP TUESDAY - July 14th A conference day - this year dedicated to all things assistive tech and universal design. This year's keynote is an A.T. specialist named Mike Marotta (@mmatp)
  • WORKSHOP WEDNESDAY - July 15th Come in for some make-and-take workshops throughout the rest of the week
  • TECH TOOLS THURSDAY - July 16th Another day of on site workshops!
  • FLIPPED FRIDAY - July 17th More workshops from home!

More info will be available soon - keep an eye on MyLearningPlan.com


Since getting our first wireless access point about 4 years ago, Vernon has become a wireless hub of activity for mobile devices. On any given day we have between 1,000 - 2,000 devices on our wiresless network every day! Our goal in the next 5 years is to be able to supprt 5,000 - 10,000 devices a day.


Want some D.I.Y. training? Check out our online Tech Tool Kit!