Teaching and Learning

April and May 2019


To provide easy access to resources, information, and learning opportunities for every educator.


April Technology Update - Bart Smith Technology

May Technology Update - Chromebook Storage for summer - Bart Smith

District Handwriting - Patricia Bambenek and Heather Harvick

Your Brain on Music - submitted by Teri Akervik

Families in Transition - Katie Danielson


April Technology - Bart Smith

Student and Staff Safety/Cyber Security

With MCA testing we need to ensure we have adequate resources for our students to access the Pearson website.

  • We took the following steps on April 1st:

    • Voluntarily limit your non-curriculum web activity during the day

    • We will block various non-curriculum websites (ie gaming)

    • Block/restrict staff from Facebook, Netflix and Pandora, Amazon Prime, Spotify

  • If necessary, we will look at taking the following additional steps:

    • Disabling the ISD 709-BYOD wireless network

    • Block/restrict student access to streaming services (Youtube, etc.)

    • Block/restrict staff from streaming services (Youtube, etc.)

Swank Motion Picture, Inc - Watch How Movie Licensing Provides Peace of Mind

Many schools/teachers have the common misconception they are covered by the Educational Exemption Law when in fact, there are very specific criteria that must be met in order to be covered by this exemption (you can find the requirements at https://www.swank.com/k-12-schools/copyright/ ). Other examples of events that require a license;

  • Student Rewards

  • Holiday Events

  • Family Movie Nights

  • Before/After School programs

  • Last Days of School

  • Staffing Emergencies

  • Indoor Recess

  • Student Groups

Also, whether admission is charged or not, a license is still required.

Do I need a license to show a movie for educational purposes? This activity is covered under the “Face-to-Face Teaching Exemption,” right? It depends. Under the "Face-to-Face Teaching Exemption," copyrighted movies may be shown in a K-12 school setting without copyright permission only if all criteria are met:

  • A teacher or instructor is present, engaged in face-to-face teaching activities.

  • The institution must be an accredited, nonprofit educational institution.

  • The showing takes place in a classroom setting with only enrolled students in attendance.

  • The movie is used as an essential part of the core, required curriculum being taught. (The instructor should be able to show how the use of the motion picture contributes to the overall required course study and syllabus.)

  • The movie being used is a legitimate copy, not recorded from a legitimate copy or recorded from TV.

  • This means the "Face-to-Face Teaching Exemption" does not apply outside the nonprofit, in-person, classroom teaching environment. It doesn't apply to movies shown online (via Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, etc.) – even if they’re part of course-related activities and websites.

  • It also doesn't apply to interactions that are not in-person - even simultaneous distance learning interactions. It doesn't apply at for-profit educational institutions.

  • For specific requirements, please reference The Copyright Act of 1976, Public Law No. 94-553, 90 stat 2541: Title 17; Section 110(i), or consult your copyright attorney.

May Technology - Summer Storage of Chromebooks - Bart Smith

Technology Items

  • We will be upgrading all Windows 7 systems to Windows 10 and the existing Microsoft Office version to Microsoft Office 2019, this summer. Please access Microsoft Office 2019 Online Training resources to learn more about Microsoft Office 2019.

  • Teaching Summer School? We recommend you use Chromebooks with your students this summer because of the Windows 10 upgrades on our Dell desktop computers.

  • Storing Chromebooks long term (summer)

    • Prepare Chromebooks for long-term storage

      • Charge your Chromebooks so that the battery is at least 80% full.
        This ensures that even when the battery discharges while unplugged over the summer, it won’t fully run out of power.

      • To slow the discharge rate during storage, do not physically remove the battery from the Chromebook for storage. Instead, take the following steps:

        • Connect the device to a charger and turn it on.

        • Hold Refresh and Power at the same time.

        • While holding these keys, remove the power cable from device and then release the keys.
          The device should shut down and remain off.

        • Confirm the battery disconnect worked by pressing the power button.
          The device should not power on, despite having a battery charge. The Chromebook won’t power on by touching the power button or opening the lid, until you plug the device back to a power source.

        • This is the ideal way to store devices. It reduces battery discharge to a minimum, prevents constant charge and discharge from reducing the battery life, and keeps the Chromebook in a stable, powered-off state.

        • Note: If you can’t put your model of Chromebook into the battery disconnect state described above, charge the battery to at least 80%. Then, turn off the Chromebook, unplug it from a power source, and store it in a cool, dry place.

District Handwriting - Patti Bambenek and Heather Harvick

Handwriting can be described as “ The use of the hand to produce units of written language- single letters, written words, sentences, and text - - to express ideas and thinking” (v. Berninger, 2012).

Over the last year, a committee of teachers, Occupational Therapists, and principal representatives explored handwriting program options that would be consistent within our schools. The program Printing Like a Pro was selected for Grades K and 1 and Wonders handwriting materials with adaptations for grades 2-5. The curriculum for grades K-2 will be implemented in a staggered schedule beginning with Grade K: 2019-2020, Grade 1: 2020-2021, and Grade 2: 2021-2022. For grades 3-5 the curriculum using Wonders with the addition of verbal pathways and student metacognition will be implemented in 2019-2020.

Helpful link:

DPS Handwriting Guide

Want to learn more about the new handwriting curriculum? Contact Heather Harvick or Patricia Bambenek.


If you would like to learn more on how how music impacts the brain function and human behavior, the article Your Brain on Music is a quick read.

Families in Transition (FIT) - Katie Danielson

The Families in Transition (FIT) program continued to see an increase in the number of homeless students enrolled into ISD 709 this school year. We will surpass last years end number and end with over 450+ homeless students and that is all through self identification. That being said, we know that there are many more homeless students out there. On the bright side, we had quite a few students graduate this year, with one graduating a full year a head of schedule!