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Amherst School Board briefed on technology use in high school

Amherst School Board members received an update on how the high school is using technology in and out of the classroom during Tuesday evening’s board meeting.

The update was provided by high school Principal Gregory Pigeon, with assistant principals Nancy Ables and Timothy Wiles.

Topics covered during the presentation included how the school is using data to assist teachers and students in the classroom and how staff development days are being used.

The use of Aspen, an interactive student management system and learning platform that allows teachers to communicate with students and their families through email, was also discussed, as the school continues to add to its functionality. The system was implemented two years ago, Pigeon said.

“The teachers have really begun to build a robust learning platform that students and parents can access,” he said. “It’s really becoming the hub of learning in the classroom. It’s really growing and maturing at a nice pace.”

Pigeon also discussed the school’s efforts to communicate with students and the community, including a weekly newsletter called the Tiger Times Online, which highlights what students are doing throughout the high school.

“It’s available at all times,” he said, “and excitingly, we have at least 400 people read it a week.”

The school also uses Facebook and Twitter to connect with the community.

“We have a very mature Facebook page,” Pigeon said. “I think we were pioneers with that. Our page is approaching 5 years old now.”

On Twitter, the school has more than 400 followers, and has tweeted more than 1,600 times over three years.

“The nice thing about Twitter is that it’s low maintenance,” Pigeon said. “We have it connected right to our Facebook account.”

The board also appointed Ryan Schoenfeld to the position of assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and technology. Schoenfeld, who served as the principal at North Park Junior High School in Lockport, will start Monday.