Technology Staffing Update

Your District 117 Technology Department is constantly evolving to bring you and our students the best technical support possible.  As a school district, we are faced with some future challenges with regards to data driven decision making.   To prepare for these challenges, we have to adjust our staffing and let our tech staff talents shine. 

Nicholas Schock has been supporting the students and staff within the LCHS building for several years and I will add that he has been doing an outstanding job!  Behind the scenes Nick has also been a key player in our development of data driven dashboards for our building administration, but only in a part time capacity which has limited our District’s progress.  With more and more decisions needing to be made based off of the data we have available, the demands for making sense out of this data are ever increasing.  Nick’s interest and advanced knowledge of data analysis tools makes this an easy decision. Nick will now be needed as a database admin/analyst for District 117 on a full time basis. 

This is an exciting and challenging time for our  Technology Department!  Challenges equal opportunity and we are excited to announce that Marcus Staples will get the opportunity to be the lead tech support personnel at LCHS.  Marcus joined our tech department during the 2014/2015 school year to design and implement our Tech Crew program for District 117.  Marcus will continue to develop the foundations of this program and begin to support the LCHS students and staff this winter. 

This should be understood by all staff to be a transition period.  Nick and Marcus will be working together over the course of the next two months to make this transition as seamless as possible.  You will see them together in the LCHS hallways, classrooms, labs and team rooms transferring knowledge and ensuring that staff and student requests are continually met. 

During the second semester Nick will be making the transition into a full time database admin/analyst for District 117.  If you see Nick and Marcus around give them some words of encouragement.  This will be challenging and exciting for both of them.


ACHS Safety And Security Is Constantly Improving

To meet the current safety and security standards regarding building wide general/emergency communications, Antioch Community High School needed an upgrade to their paging and clock system.  One of the summer projects for the Tech Department is to complete the installation of an updated paging and clock system.  This new hardware will significantly improve our announcement and bell schedule capabilities throughout the entire building.

The installation is projected to be completed by the start of the 2015/2016 school year, with most of the installation work happening in July.

Need more info on how this helps our facilities stay safe and secure?  Just let us know.  Email us @

Do You Want To Be SMART Trainer Certified?

District 117 is hosting an official SMART Certification course in August and you can join in on the fun!

For those of you with SMART Boards in your district, District 117 will be offering an official SMART Trainer Certification Course August 5-7 at Lakes Community High School in Lake Villa, IL. Many districts have used this “train the trainer” course to certify one or a handful of people within their district who, in turn, train the rest of the staff.

What is SMART Trainer Certification exactly?  Here’s the official wording:

“If you or your organization provides training on SMART products, then consider SMART Certification Training. SMART Certification Training goes beyond the basics with extensive hands-on training that enables you to train others effectively. The credential you will receive gives you the required skills to deliver high-quality training for SMART Board interactive whiteboards.”

This 3-day “train-the-trainer” course is $1,799 per person. More information, including registration, can be found here:

If you have any questions regarding this course, please contact Jessica Kooiman:

Jessica Kooiman  |  Tierney Brothers, Inc.
3300 University Avenue SE Minneapolis MN 55414
Office: 612-331-5500  |  Fax: 612-331-3424

Mastery Manager Comes To District 117

This fall, District 117 will begin the transition from a Scantron assessment platform called Achievement Series to Mastery Manager.  Mastery Manager has the capacity for teachers to design rubric-driven, short answer, multiple choice, performance, or free response assessments in a digital platform.  Furthermore, this new system allows for teachers and administrators to track student progress by standards across school years and courses.  Students can access mastery manager’s assessments through teacher printed answer sheets, rubrics, or online.

During the 2014/2015 school year, a team of curriculum leaders within District 117 assessed several alternatives to Achievement Series.  This team, comprised of Department Leaders, Building Administration and District Administration, unanimously decided that Mastery Manger would be the future of our District’s digital assessments.

Although teachers will have access to continue to utilize Scantron’s Achievement series through December of 2015, teachers will have opportunities to participate in professional development and pilot the use of Mastery Manger beginning this September.  Each school will have four high-speed scanners that teachers can use to scan answer sheets, surveys, or rubrics.  In addition, teachers will have immediate access to design and score online assessments.

All first semester final assessments will be delivered using Mastery Manager in December of 2015.  “The efficiencies gained by using a more current digital assessment system are amazing,” stated our Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, David Bain.  “Our back office staff will no longer need to invest the many hours of time it takes to physically scan bubble answer cards.  This system allows for time savings for our office staff and instant grade results for our teachers, ultimately providing students with more real-time feedback for their primary assessments.”

To learn more about Mastery Manager, please visit thier homepage:

If you are teacher within District 117 and you are interested in being a part of an initial training this summer please contact Assistant Superintendent David Bain at the District 117

A New Face In The CHSD117 Tech Department

The District 117 Technology Department would like to welcome Marcus Staples to our Tech staff.  Marcus joins us from Zion Benton High School, where he was working as a building IT technician and running the Zion Benton student “Tech Crew.”  If you haven’t heard of this student technology program, check it out.  He has done some great work with Zion Benton and he will offer our District a great foundation of knowledge for our own pursuit of a student technology workforce.Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 7.58.24 AM

Marcus will be working in both ACHS and LCHS buildings to assist with technical support and designing the foundations of our District 117 “Tech Crew.”  Please help me in welcoming Marcus to our Team


Class Is In – Google Launches “Google Classroom”

Google launched its next gen tools for educators with Google Classroom this week. The free learning management software is now in full release and is ready to use by anyone who has Google Apps for Education. 

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If you are interested in using this for your students, go to and log in with your District email account, create your classes and begin to connect with students.  

If you run in to any problems, please contact me,, and I can help you with getting this setup so you can take advantage of this class management system.

Check out this article on to learn about 10 ways Google Classroom can help in your classroom.