MCHS

McHenry Community High School

Key Facts

  • McHenry, IL
  • 2,300 students
  • Integrations with Infinite Campus, TurnItIn, Google Drive, and more
  • McHenry Community High School: https://www.dist156.org/
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"The Schoology platform has exceeded our expectations and the Schoology family has been an incredible support and inspiration to the creativity of the teachers in our district."

Carl Vallianatos

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction

Story

Case Study: Choosing an LMS and a Partner to Transform Learning

"Schoology is the curriculum, instruction, and communication tool we have never had."

The Challenge

The McHenry School district serves 2,300 students in McHenry, IL. Their Assistant Superintendent for of Curriculum and Instruction, Carl Vallianatos, started in 2013 with a major investment in technology. They started researching 1:1 programs in the summer of 2016 and very soon realized they actually needed a broader innovation plan. Their innovation plan had 4 goals:

  • Substantially change instruction to be more in line with the digital age
  • Create high levels of engagement
  • Instill a high level of readiness for both colleges and careers
  • Allow for an environment that fosters innovation and creativity

This plan would require not only a hardware investment but an investment in software as well.

The Decision

McHenry started putting together multiple options for their LMS rollout. First they analyzed the free versus paid options. They were not certain if a free option could handle all of their needs. As they started visiting districts around McHenry, they noticed the districts that had successful rollouts paid for their LMS. They also realized that they wanted an LMS they could mandate and manage.

After visiting almost 10 districts around McHenry they created a shortlist of Schoology, Canvas, Haiku, and Blackboard. They put together a technology committee including both of the feeder schools. The committee was made up of teachers, administrators, and parents. Each vendor came in for presentations and a lunch-and-learn. They used the same rubric for all vendors to ensure that information was captured from everyone on the committee. Once all the votes and information came in, Schoology was the clear winner with 70% of the votes.

The Result

In January of 2016 they got board approval for a 5-year contract with Schoology. By the end of February, they had already rolled out Schoology to their technology team and McHenry’s Digital Literacy Coaches. Digital Literacy Coaches (DLC) are a select group of teachers who became trainers after the full rollout. These 7 DLCs held weekly group trainings as well as open office hours so that teachers always had a resource for help during their initial implementation.

"We are so excited for the future of teaching and learning at McHenry High School,” said Carl Vallianatos. “Schoology is the curriculum, instruction, and communication tool we have never had. The Schoology platform has exceeded our expectations and the Schoology family has been an incredible support and inspiration to the creativity of the teachers in our district."

The committee chose Schoology because of its interface and overall ease-of-use. The interface’s similarity with other social media platforms made everyone very confident that they could roll it out with little training.

The teachers enjoyed the collaboration and community that comes with Schoology. Teachers are able to collaborate on their PLCs via Schoology Groups instead of having curriculum scattered throughout Google Drive.

Teachers enjoyed being able to have instant communication with students. They could answer questions whenever and wherever students were learning. Students could still participate in classes even when they weren’t able to make it to school and could ask questions whenever they came up, instead of having to wait for their designated class.

Click here to see the LMS McHenry chose

 

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