Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, news, and advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

Written by Lisa Railton
on October 9, 2020

Back in January, Washington state recorded the first case of COVID-19 in the country. The coronavirus spread throughout the state, and the World Health Organization eventually declared the outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Two days later, Washington’s governor ordered all public and private K-12 schools in the state to close through April 24—a date that would later be extended through the remainder of the 2019–20 school year.

Serving 24,000 students across 37 schools, Vancouver Public Schools uses Office 365 and Google for Education across a variety of devices (iPads, Chromebooks, and laptops). Like most school districts across the country, this Washington district was caught off guard by the sudden shift to remote learning. With a student safety platform already in place for students in grades 3–12, the district turned up its 1:1 initiative and extended its use of Gaggle across all grade levels to ensure students were protected in the digital environment while learning from home.

When Vancouver Public Schools first rolled out Gaggle in 2016, the student safety solution immediately picked up on a lot of student-to-student communications about emotional issues and the need for support. “These are things we didn’t have insights into prior to using Gaggle,” said Chief Digital Officer Christina Iremonger. “Using the platform, we’ve been able to work with our counselors and community to get those students access to the services that they need.”

Especially critical in today’s remote learning environment, having a proactive approach to student safety is essential for schools. “It was absolutely imperative to have Gaggle on board when we went to remote teaching and learning,” said Iremonger. “We are so lucky to have Gaggle in place. It’s become part of our basic infrastructure.”

Want to learn more about how this Washington district utilizes our student safety solution? Be sure to read the success story to discover how Gaggle helps Vancouver Public Schools gain visibility over students’ online activities, promote digital citizenship, and level the digital equity playing field.

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