RICHMOND -- This spring, Richmond Consolidated School, in partnership with the Hancock Elementary School, will pilot new technology in student support and safety services.
The school district for the towns of Richmond, Hancock and New Ashford is the collective recipient of a state Community Innovation Challenge (CIC) grant. The new state program incentivizes regionalization and other efforts such as shared planning and purchasing among local governments and education systems.
Richmond took the lead in applying for the grant, and received $52,037 for regionalizing technology support services.
Barbara Ripa, superintendent for the schools of Richmond, Hancock and New Ashford, said the schools will receive and install a new system called PowerSchool and a new reverse 911 phone calling system for emergency notifications over the next few months.
PowerSchool, manufactured by Pearson Education Inc., is a system designed to store and track student data, from attendance to progress to report card grades. The secured information can be accessed by teachers, and administrators as well as parents.
"We always say how parents need to partner with us in their child's education. This is a direct way of doing that," the superintendent said.
Ripa also noted that teachers will be working together to learn the new system and to adjust to real-time data reporting.
She said schools will also be notifying parents about PowerSchool and the reverse 911 system to ensure that accurate contact information is on record at each educational institution.
The two schools in Richmond and Hancock combined have about 215 students. Integration of technology will be a priority at both schools as they head into the future.
"Our challenge is aging technology, to make sure we have the tools and machines to support all this new software," Ripa said.
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