BHUSD Technology Update
October 4, 2019
Dear Students, Parents and Guardians,
Thank you for your patience and willingness to be so adaptable to change. This email is pertinent for the Middle School and High School; however, as this is a District-Wide decision, everyone is included. We have received an overwhelmingly positive response regarding our decision to move away from Schoology; however, it is important that we have a solid way forward. We have reassessed and this is the plan.
- Simplify - one login
- Be Data-Driven - our goal is to provide feedback based on facts
- Maintain LMS Ethos - our vision and mission statement articulate our commitment to college and career readiness. It is a global standard for most colleges and universities to use an LMS (Learning Management System) and we must prepare our students for this.
As soon as your teachers are comfortable they will transition to using the following (within the timeframe outlined below):
Please note: These are not new programs. Some teachers are already using both of these solutions. For those teachers who are not, multiple opportunities for support will be provided between now and November 1st. For example, October 23rd will provide an opportunity for our staff to continue training in Aeries Gradebook and migrating to Google Classroom through Professional Development. The needs of each school are different, and therefore, this PD day will be tailored to those needs. For example, the middle school teachers who have used Schoology have their grades already in Aeries Gradebook, and they will not need to migrate these. High School teachers can sync their grades; however, less than 12 teachers ended up using Schoology.
- Aeries Gradebook - this is not a new expectation. It has been used for many years and remains our State Mandated Student Information System.
However, the direct use of the gradebook is new for some teachers (administration has been manually moving the grades from Jupiter to Aeries). By using Aeries Gradebook, our goal to provide you with data driven feedback is achieved in a more powerful, meaningful way. For example, if you download the Aeries App, you will have access to all of this data as soon as our rollout is complete (Jan 4th).
- Google Classroom - many of our teachers have had years of professional development with this online platform and we will now continue this training. Although Google Classroom is not yet a full LMS it is the ideal stepping stone for BHUSD right now. Our goal to ultimately have a full LMS for college and career readiness will not change. Google Classroom is operating more like an LMS and is releasing new features that indicate it could become a full LMS in the future.
- Jupiter - I met with our leadership team yesterday and learned of many factors that should be taken into consideration. I have decided to maintain the original plan and sunset Jupiter as of January. Jupiter is antiquated. It is not compliant with California Education Code. It creates a need for an additional login and it does not provide us with data driven feedback. I do understand some teachers are comfortable with Jupiter but we must move to placing our critical data all in one space.
Now = Teachers can begin migrating from Schoology/Jupiter to Aeries Gradebook and Google Classroom.
Interim = Each school site will dedicate specific time for teachers to continue this migration (for example the Middle School will be providing time on the 17th and 24th.)
October 23rd = Professional Development Day: We will provide an opportunity for our staff to continue training in Aeries Gradebook and migrating to Google Classroom. The needs of each school are different; and therefore, this PD day will be tailored to those needs.
November 1st = Last day any teacher uses Schoology.
January 3rd = Last day teachers can access the back end of Schoology to retrieve any documents or resources.
January 3rd = Jupiter sunsets and will no longer be used by BHUSD, access will be revoked, any and all information must be migrated by then.
January 4th = Aeries Gradebook will be our only gradebook in BHUSD.
Why not Jupiter? Jupiter is antiquated. It is not compliant with California Education Code. It created a need for an additional login and it does not provide us with data driven feedback. Most importantly, we need one gradebook in BHUSD.
Will I have to check multiple platforms? Rather than having a different login for Aeries, Schoology and Jupiter, you will have 1 login for Aeries and Google Classroom. Students and Staff will have 1 login for Aeries, Google Classroom and BHUSD Gmail. Until November 1st (if your teacher uses Jupiter this may be Jan 4th) you will have to check multiple platforms. After that you will check Aeries and Google Classroom.
Where do we communicate? Directly in Aeries, the actual app and desktop system, Aeries Communication, Google Classroom and BHUSD Gmail.
How does this impact Elementary? Hawthorne and Horace Mann remain relatively unaffected by this change.
I heard that the Aeries/Schoology problem was fixed, is it? A temporary fix was achieved; however, our decision to move on from Schoology remains. There is no other school successfully using the gradebook feature (with the Aeries integration) so a “fix” now is not an indication of a guaranteed outcome.
Have a great weekend.