Guidance--Survey Section E: Curriculum & Instruction

Question 1:

What are the district's plans to use digital connectivity and technology to improve teaching and learning?
If the district plans to apply for Smart Schools Bond Act (SSBA) funds for School Connectivity, the answer to this question must be aligned with the district’s Smart Schools Investment Plan (SSIP). Response is limited to 250 words.

Question 2:
Does the district’s instructional technology plan address the needs of students with disabilities to ensure equitable access to instruction, materials, and assessments? 
If the district plans to apply for Smart Schools Bond Act funds for Classroom Learning Technology, the answer to this question must be aligned with the district’s Smart Schools Investment Plan (SSIP).
Yes or No

2.a: If “Yes”, please provide detail.  Response is limited to 500 words. In your answer, please explain how the district’s technology plan addresses the accessibility of educational materials for students with disabilities.

Note: Please review the guidance document prior to responding to question 2. (a)  This guidance has been revised in 2016.

Guidance: The accessibility needs of students with disabilities within the school district must be considered when planning for the implementation of educational technology consistent with the principles of a universal design for learning. Additionally, districts must understand the specific requirements for accessible instructional/educational materials for students with disabilities pursuant to federal and State laws and regulations. Section 200.2(b)(10) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education indicates that school districts must establish a plan to ensure that all instructional materials to be used in the schools of the district are available in a usable alternative format, which shall meet the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS).  Furthermore, districts must ensure that preference in the purchase of instructional materials is given to those publishers who agree to provide such instructional materials in alternative formats. Some students with disabilities are eligible to receive accessible materials sourced in accordance with NIMAS, and other students with disabilities not eligible for NIMAS-sourced materials may still require accessible materials pursuant to the regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Districts should understand that the terms “digital” or “electronic” do not necessarily mean “accessible” for all students.  Schools must ensure that they have systems and structures in place to support the timely provision of educational materials in accessible formats.

Question 3:
Does the district’s instructional technology plan address the provision of assistive technology specifically for students with disabilities to ensure access to and participation in the general curriculum? If the district plans to apply for Smart Schools Bond Act funds for Classroom Learning Technology, the answer to this question must be aligned with the district’s Smart Schools Investment Plan (SSIP). Yes or No.

3.a: If “Yes”, please provide detail.
Response is limited to 500 words.  Please explain how the district’s instructional technology plan supports access to and participation in the general curriculum for students with disabilities through the use of assistive technology.
Note: Please review the guidance document prior to responding to Question 3(a).

Guidance:  For many students with disabilities, assistive technology facilitates access to the general education curriculum in both the general education and the special education classroom environments.  Moreover, the assistive technology recommended on the individualized education programs (IEPs) of some students with disabilities may be the same as or similar to the technologies available to all students schoolwide or in select classrooms (e.g., mobile devices, netbooks, text-to-speech software, etc.). Effective implementation of assistive technology for many students with disabilities should involve coordination between the Committee on Special Education and other school/district administrators. Issues including (but not limited to) connectivity, technology support, maintenance, program installation and customization, operating systems, platforms, classroom management strategies, and device management strategies have an impact on the implementation of assistive technology for many students with disabilities.  Schools should ensure that they have systems and structures in place to support the use of students’ required assistive technology devices in both instructional and assessment environments.

Question 4: 
Does the district’s instructional technology plan address the needs of English Language Learners to ensure equitable access to instruction, materials, and assessments? Yes or No.

 4.a: If "Yes," please provide details. If the district plans to apply for Smart Schools Bond Act funds for Classroom Learning Technology, the answer to this question must be aligned with the district’s Smart Schools Investment Plan (SSIP).

Guidance: Response is limited to 500 words.