The Monticello School District has harnessed the power of technology to open up a world of learning for our students. We have maintained our small school values while retooling our technology infrastructure and curriculum to support classrooms without walls.
We began as early adopters of SmartBoards, investing district money and grant funding until every classroom was outfitted this technology to use as a window to the world. The district has further invested in everywhere/all the time learning by providing laptops to all students in grades 6-12. Beginning in 2012, a robust partnership with the Wisconsin Technology Initiative truly transformed teaching and learning at Monticello with the deployment of real-time, interactive video technology. The telepresence platform is used to share classes with other districts and institutions of higher learning. This technology allows our students and staff to collaborate with others around the world.
Telepresence is used in three main ways at Monticello schools: to share courses with other rural school districts and institutions of higher learning, to take students on virtual field trips and for professional development. "It is a way for rural schools to sustain very high levels of education,” according to District Administrator Allen Brokopp. “We really believe what we are doing is a model for sustainable rural education.”
Together with leaders in the school districts in Albany and Juda, Monticello has grown a network of schools that pool their resources to give students an ever-widening range of courses from which to select. As of 2016, the network of active partners has grown to include Oostburg, Brodhead, Shiocton and U-Rock Charter School.
Ten AP and/or dual credit classes were offered at Monticello in 2015-16 through the network of telepresence partners working together. Rural school students who previously would have had access to limited offerings in Math, Science and technology can now choose from AP Chemistry, Astronomy, Physics, Video Game Design, The Holocaust, Statistics, Senior Math, Pre-calculus and Calculus. Computer Aided Design will be added in 2016-17.
Monticello was recently among the school featured in a recent article in EdTech magazine: http://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2016/01/3-districts-share-telepresence-solutions
The Monticello School District would like to thank John and Tashia Morgridge for their generosity and support of technological innovation and integration in our schools. Click to learn more about their work at the Wisconsin Technology Initiative.