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QCSD honored with 2018 Schools of TechXcellence award for IT innovations

District Administration magazine is honoring the Quakertown Community School District for education technology initiatives as part of its Schools of TechXcellence program.

This exciting K12 education recognition honors schools and districts that have implemented innovative, effective and replicable programs using technology to contribute meaningfully to student, instructional or operational success. QCSD is one of 18 honorees -- from 11 states -- selected by the program’s judges from numerous nominations, and reflect programs that demonstrate effective and replicable success. This is the second year for this national recognition program.

“We’ve made certain that our district stays ahead of the curve in terms of the integration of technology in classrooms to support our core mission,” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner.

The high school has had a one-to-one laptop program for students for several years. Last year students at the Sixth Grade Center joined that program. This year it was expanded to include Strayer Middle School.

In addition, with hacking threats against districts increasing, QCSD set out in 2017 to educate end users to fortify its first line of defense. The district also made back-end upgrades with a new firewall, and tightened access to its wired and wireless networks to block threats.

“Most importantly, we tightened up all policies and procedures around student information and human resource data,” said Joe Kuzo, the district’s director of technology. “We’ve also ensured that our end users were educated on a monthly basis with important information to make them aware of ongoing threats.”

Quakertown offers online cybersecurity courses for teachers, parents and students. The district follows the Consortium for School Networking’s Trusted Learning Environment framework, which sets standards for leadership, technology and transparency around the protection of student data.

The district has not experienced any security breaches since instituting the initiative. And newly automated processes mean the IT team doesn’t spend long periods of time diagnosing and fixing network issues.

To view a full list of honorees, visit districtadministration.com/techx.