Focused on Student Achievement
School2Home is a program designed to help close the Achievement Gap and the Digital Divide by integrating the use of technology into
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teaching and learning at low-performing middle schools throughout California.  It is sponsored by the California Emerging Technology Fund and The Children’s Partnership.
   
Click here to view the School2Home Video.

"The biggest component to student success is parent involvement. School2Home is the perfect equation." --Leah Jensen, OUSD

Close the Achievement Gap
  
    ·
 Targets Title 1 middle schools in Program Improvement
    ·  Helps students acquire core skills in reading, writing, math and science
    ·  
Encourages students to develop deep learning skills for academic success
    ·  Engages parents as learning partners    
  
 
                                                                            
Close the Digital Divide
    · Targets families who lack home computers and broadband    
    · Infuses technology into all aspects of student learning at school and home                                                                    
    ·  Makes technology relevant with school-centered parent education and engagement


A Comprehensive Program

 The School2Home program consists of ten program components that have been woven together into a comprehensive program to achieve sustainable academic gains.  There is a focus on capacity-building so that schools can implement the program step by step.       
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STEM Education - Sunne Wright McPeak, President and CEO of The California Emerging Technology Fund recently gave testimony to California Assembly Member Susan Bonilla’s Select Committee on Increasing the Integrating of STEM Education.

She discussed the need for increased investments in broadband connectivity and computing technologies in schools, and the need for special focus and attention in schools in low-income neighborhoods.  She recommended that the California Legislature formally support the California Broadband Council Statement on Broadband in Schools and the recommendations from the CDE.  She spoke of the success of comprehensive approaches such as School2Home and called for acknowledging the importance of tackling the “wall of poverty” through better coordination of human services with accountability for better results for children and their families to transform neighborhoods and close the Achievement Gap. 

In discussing the School2Home, McPeak indicated that “results confirm that high-speed broadband Internet connectivity and computing technologies are a key part of an effective approach to turning around low-performing schools, not only because of the benefits to students but also because it is a powerful way for low-income parents to participate in their child’s learning and to be engaged with the school.”

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Mayor Jean Quan honors Frick Middle School Teacher
- The City of Oakland honored Frick Teacher Dewanna Slaughter with a proclamation from Mayor Jean Quan honoring her role at Frick educating parents about technology and helping them gain access to broadband.  Dewanna was one of the California Emerging Technology Fund’s 2014 Broadband Champions, and the Frick community was excited to see her further recognized by the Mayor’s office.   Dewanna was a student at Frick when she was in middle school, and she sees technology access in the home as important to helping her students succeed.



New Poll:  Broadband at Home Makes a Difference in Students’ LivesSchool2Home parents photo

California parents with a broadband connection at home are very likely to go online to help their children with homework and obtain information from the school website about their children’s academic progress, according to a new statewide survey conducted by the Field Poll on behalf of the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF).  For poll results, visit www.cetfund.org.

The poll found that parents who have a broadband connection other than a smartphone at home were highly likely to go online at home to help their children learn (84%) and to obtain information about their children’s homework and grades from the school website (75%).

“While mobile phones are essential devices, they are not enough to help poor Californians access many of the services they need to break out of poverty or close the education Achievement Gap,” CETF President and CEO Sunne Wright McPeak said.  For example, California public school students are now required to take assessment tests on a computing device and those without daily experience at home using a desktop, laptop or tablet will be at a disadvantage.

The survey findings also show that home broadband adoption rates have stagnated over the past few years, leaving the hardest-to-reach Californians without an essential tool to access the educational, employment and civic engagement opportunities that lead to self-sufficiency.  Among those with low adoption rates are Spanish-speaking Latinos and households earning under $40,000 a year. 

 “As technology is integrated in the classroom, poor students who only have smartphone access to the online world when they go home will fall farther behind and we all will be worse off for it.  This is a call to action for government, industry and philanthropic groups to work to finally close the Digital Divide in California,” McPeak said.

FCC Commissioners visit two LA area School2Home partner schools
At the invitation of School2Home, two commissioners representing the Federal Communications Commission, 
Ajit Pai and Mignon Clyburn, separately visited two of Los Angeles-area partner schools: San Fernando Institute for Applied Media (SFIAM) and Muir Middle School.  Both congratulated the schools for their innovative use of technology to make a positive difference in their students’ lives, and used their visits to  advocate for expanded broadband in schools during an important gathering of FCC policy makers a few days later in Washington, D.C.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai sat in on Mr. Peña’s 8th grade class at SFIAM, which was studying world religions.
  Mr. Peña introduced the concept of tessellation.   Commissioner Pai admitted, “I had never heard of the word, but that was soon to change.”   Mr. Peña asked the students to put the term into Google Images on their iPads.  He then asked them to describe what they saw and why they thought Islamic art and architecture used tessellation so extensively.  “In their own words—and I confess I did the exercise in my own mind!—the students described an infinitely recurring series of geometric shapes. They then surmised, correctly according to Mr. Peña, that it was used to exemplify the infinite power of God,” Commissioner Pai recounted at the D.C. hearing.  “I’m pretty confident that those kids did not just hear, but learned—that they will retain more knowledge thanks to a technology-based approach. After leaving Mr. Peña’s classroom, he met with SFIAM parents, along with Principal, Institute officials from the Los Angeles Unified School District, the California Emerging Technology Fund and School2Home partner, the Youth Policy Institute.  “The parents told me that the school’s embrace of technology has had a huge and positive impact on their children. The others suggested that there was even more they could do with a modernized E-Rate program,“ he said.
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FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn visited Muir Middle School, where she toured three classrooms to observe how the middle school students were using tablet computers, providing real-world examples of the importance of broadband in learning.  Principal Kurt Lowry and Muir teachers described how the School2Home program improves student research skills and learning self-sufficiency, in addition to promoting student collaboration and student-teacher communication.  The Commissioner also visited with “Mouse Squad” students who meet after-school to learn how to troubleshoot basic  IT problems to help their classmates and teachers when they encounter problems.

The Commissioner participated in discussions with leaders from Los Angeles Unified School District, School2Home partner LA‘s Promise, and the California Emerging Technology Fund.  The leaders spoke about the critical need for affordable home broadband for low-income students so students can do their homework, collaborate with other students and ask questions of their teachers after school hours.  CETF said there are very few discount broadband offers available in low- income communities in Los Angeles, which greatly disadvantages students seeking to improve their academic performance.

During the FCC workshop examining broadband a few days later, the Commissioner described the enthusiasm of Muir teachers and students over the arrival of tablet computers for each student, and noted to the gathered policymakers that urban schools have as much need for access to affordable broadband as rural schools. Click here to see additional photos.


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Three Middle Schools Join School2Home in 2014-2015
Three additional middle schools in Northern California will begin implementing School2Home in the upcoming school year. They are Lovonya De Jean Middle School, in Contra Costa County, West Oakland Middle School in Alameda County and Winters Middle School in Yolo County.  All three schools will be using local funding to support the purchase of student devices, and each school will be supporting a part-time instructional technology coach to assist with implementation. The California Emerging Technology Fund will support leadership and planning, professional development, parent training, student technology expertise, and program evaluation. According to Bonnie Marks, School2Home Program Manager, teachers at the three sites are enthusiastic about the new technology that will arrive this September and the opportunities for greater parent engagement.