By Jay Lancaster
Technology was front and center at the recent School Committee meeting. The technology in question is a new online system of tracking students’ involvement in community service.
School Committee member Jared Nicholson got the ball rolling on the discussion of the tracking system. “We had discussed this last year, about adding the ability for students to track their community service and help them organize their resumes and so on and so forth and I was hoping to get an update about how that’s gone.”
Deputy Superintendent Patrick Tutwiler responded that “I don’t want to disappoint you but there’s not that much to report. We turned the tracking system X2Vol which sits inside of Naviance on around midyear last year and much as the same as when the district introduced Naviance ten-plus years ago there wasn’t much traction early on.”
Despite the lukewarm reception by students, The deputy superintendent sounded hopeful that the school would be able to get kids using the system going forward.
“There is a negligible number of students who are actively using it, but the thought is to market and make sure the community service club advisors, coaches, Jason McCuish for SkillsUSA, all these student groups that do tons of community service out there know that that’s available to them.”
Although the committee is seeking to increase the number of students using the system, Tutwiler stressed that participation in the X2Vol system was completely voluntary and that students will not be forced to use it going forward.
“The thing is that it’s not a mandate. It’s not mandatory for students to use Naviance, so they might continue using the traditional system, especially if you’re a senior. If I’m a senior and I’ve been doing community service for three years I’m not going to backtrack and go to this online mechanism. We remain optimistic and we want to provide the option for our kids. We want to be careful to not convey to them that this is a mandate that they have to do this.”