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Battlefield High School Realizes Impressive Savings with Paper Reduction Initiative | News

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Battlefield High School Realizes Impressive Savings with Paper Reduction Initiative
News, Schools

From Prince William County Public Schools:

In 2007, the Battlefield High School Technology Committee implemented a paper reduction initiative at the school. The goal of "RIPTIP" was to reduce schoolwide paper use by 50 percent by 2012. Recent results indicate that the school has, despite an enrollment-adjusted index, surpassed the 50 percent mark two full years ahead of schedule.

“Our 2007–08 total expense for copier contract and consumable paper was $207,690.88. The figures from last year come in at a total of $93,637.90,” says Keith Reeves, instructional technology resource teacher and chairman of the Technology Committee. “That's a cost reduction of $114,052.98 compared to our baseline, even with 300 more students.”

Battlefield High School has a wide variety of technology tools at its disposal that allow staff and administrators to gather student performance data electronically. An “awesome paperless tool” that has helped to practically eliminate paper from gathering testing data is a Smart "Senteo" student response system, otherwise referred to as a "clicker.” This tool allows an entire class to respond to questions, both pre-made and created on the fly, from their seats using wireless devices, or “clickers.” Teachers can also give quizzes and tests online through ClassMarker, SchoolFusion, Google Docs, SurveyMonkey, and more. All of the assessments performed using those tools require no paper.
 
Staff is working on finding every possible avenue for eliminating paper entirely. When student test responses are gathered digitally, the data is generated in a form which can be manipulated to show a huge variety of information, including students' performance on specific objectives in certain areas, or even by subgroups that align with Federal law.

“We have the power, right at our fingertips, to look at which students are struggling and how they are struggling, allowing us to target our interventions and ensure that every child at Battlefield is really able to access that World-Class Education we promise here in PWCS,” said Reeves.

“There is no way we could have had the success we have had without serious investment and buy-in from the faculty. Principal Amy Ethridge-Conti did a good job of backing up a lot of our policy-based interventions, and several teachers have really made eliminating paper a major priority,” Reeves commented.

Janine Byers, Spanish teacher, has eliminated paper in nearly every area of her instruction that she felt comfortable, and has become a leader and role model in her department when it comes to showing others how to do the same.

William O. Florer, language arts teacher, is one of the most vocal proponents of the use of Google Docs in English classrooms. He and Reeves have collaborated for years on the Paperless Research Paper program, something Dawn L. Moulen, gifted education teacher,  and Reeves developed (and later taught at the university level) in 2007. Moulen has been instrumental in identifying areas of paper reduction potential and helping craft some strategies for doing so.
 
A notable technological innovation at Battlefield enables every student studying the driver education unit to go through a real set of control and distracted driving simulations using simulators that Reeves designed and built. An example of the adage, “necessity is the mother of invention,” Reeves came up with the idea after the road and range unit of driver education was eliminated from the budget Divisionwide this year.

Michael Snyder, a mathematics teacher, has been a leader in using Google Docs to collect, disaggregate, and analyze Professional Learning Communities (PLC) data at the school. He has worked directly with the school’s administration on a number of projects to use Google to eliminate paper, streamline processes, and make their work easier and more efficient.

The Professional Learning Community movement relies on teachers' ability to gather a lot of data in a flexible, low-maintenance way, and to get valuable and relevant feedback quickly and easily. The technology tools introduced and taught to staff through the RIPTIP allows Battlefield High School to directly support the Superintendent's vision of the effective, responsive Professional Learning Community by off-loading a lot of the work of data collection and management.  

“The tools allow our professionals to focus on the goal of PLC: having meaningful, reflective conversations about teaching practices to make our instruction more effective and ensure every student is achieving mastery,” said Reeves.

With the tremendous support they received from school staff and from Principal Ethridge-Conti, Battlefield High School’s Technology Committee is planning to revisit the RIPTIP initiative's Year Four strategic goals to consider raising the bar even higher.

 

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