FIS Technology Platforms to Support Distance Learning
FIS has sought recommendations from leading organizations and agencies as it developed this DLP, including the US State Department Office of Overseas Schools, the World Virtual School Project, Global Online Academy, and International Schools Services. School leaders have also carefully studied the DLPs of other leading international schools. With regard to the school’s core technological and communications systems, FIS offers the following FAQs to describe how we will communicate and manage learning in the event this DLP is implemented.
Q. How will FIS communicate with parents, students, and faculty/staff in the event of an extended campus closure?
A. FIS will continue to use the same channels it employs for normal day-to-day communications with parents, students, and faculty/staff. All of these systems are remotely accessible and will function in an emergency situation. They contain auditing tools that will allow FIS to ensure that all students and parents are receiving important communications. The table below describes these platforms:
Q. Are the learning management systems (PowerSchool) employed in this plan the same as those used during normal school operations?
A. FIS’s systems are already built on cloud-based systems, including GSuite (Google Drive, Classroom, Gmail, etc.), PowerSchool, and Seesaw. That means these systems will continue to work from anywhere in the world, even during an emergency. FIS’s data is not physically hosted on the school’s network, which means we can continue to use our systems during a crisis, even if buildings are damaged or our campus is inaccessible. Finally, each of our primary systems has multiple administrators, so they can be managed remotely (from anywhere, online) by more than one person, in the event that a system administrator is out of contact or unavailable.
Q. How will FIS ensure that students have access to these systems from off-campus?
A. Upper school students are all part of our 1-1 Learning program and as such have access to a laptop with all school software already installed. ES students may take advantage of loaning a school owned device which are currently kept in their classrooms. In the event that campus closure seems likely, the tech support team would ensure that all students in Grades FS through 5 have access to a device at home. We are assuming that every household has a suitable laptop or tablet to support student learning at home. If there are families unable to meet this requirement, they should contact school immediately and we can help with our device loaner program. All of our online teaching and learning platforms are specifically designed to device agnostic, which means students will be able to access learning through parental devices, phones, tablets, etc.