Teachers in front of computer panels

The Tonawanda City School District is working to roll out mobile flat panel displays to teachers in the Middle/High School, with a goal of completing the rollout by June 2021.

A total of 75 LED interactive flat panels were purchased as part of funding from Phase I of the Tonawanda Smart Schools Investment Plan. With their 75-inch 4K screens, the panels house their own operating systems, which makes them great for cooperative learning and movement around a classroom.

"We will be doing three phases of this rollout," Technology Director Jessi Donner explained. "For each phase, we will be introducing 25 panels into Middle/High School classrooms. Once the new Fletcher Elementary School building site is completed, we will focus on outfitting those classrooms with these panels, as well."

As part of the rollout of these panels, teachers from each department were brought in for a two-hour training session so they could learn the new instructional tool and support their colleagues going forward. Additional advanced training will also be held throughout the school year.

The Smart Schools Bond Act was passed by New York State in 2014 and approved by voters in a statewide referendum. The act authorized the issuance of $2 billion obligation bonds to finance improved educational technology and infrastructure to enhance learning and opportunity for students throughout the state.

A committee was formed within the Tonawanda City School District with members from each stakeholder group (administrators, regular education and special education teachers, teacher assistant, librarian, parent, BOE member, STEM coach). This committee compiled a plan for what the money could be used on, based upon the parameters set forth in the Smart Schools Bond Act.