Technology at FFCS

Instructional Technology

Firm Foundation Christian School adheres to several core values.  One of these values is “Striving for Excellence with Integrity and Authenticity.”  This value feeds the mission of assisting families in developing today’s youth into Christian leaders serving in the home, church and community by providing an education emphasizing academic excellence using a Biblical curriculum.  While continuing strong academics, we also turn to the educational technology soft skills that will move our students beyond graduation (communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity).  It is expected that students learn and apply these skills to be successful leaders in our society.

As a piece of the FFCS strategic visioning process, we developed a four-year plan to integrate educational technology into the classrooms of our school.  2017 marked the beginning of the current implementation plan involving Chromebooks at all grade levels.  Devices have been provided and made available to all students at all grade levels.  Teachers have received professional development through multiple trainings on educational technology use, and will continue receiving focused PD on classroom technology implementations.  This early model of adoption has seen amazing growth in the interest and number of students and teachers involved.  FFCS has also upgraded networking structures so that the local network is robust enough to handle the load of students and teachers with devices, while providing an excellent user experience.

The plan for 2018-2019 involves an increase of devices for students.  However, adding devices alone will not be the answer for our students.  The most important aspect of learning will be the shift in culture as we approach educational technology integration to emphasize the skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.

Please contact the Director of Learning Technology – Mr. Don Bourne at if you have any questions regarding our current plans or if you would like to add your input to the process.  We would love to hear your opinion and include you in the conversation of how to best prepare our students for their ever changing future.

Chromebook Pilot and 1:1 Plan

Firm Foundation Christian School is currently in year two of a four-year plan to introduce additional technology into classroom instruction by the year 2021. In process of developing the long-term Technology Plan for our school, multiple types of devices for student and teacher usage were explored.

As part of the official FFCS Technology Plan, we introduced a set of 30 Chromebooks to be made available to all students at all grade levels. The teachers involved were given additional training on these devices and their usage in the classroom. Through classroom observations, survey results data, and student/teacher interviews, the Chromebook was determined to be the appropriate device that will be used as we explore the possibility of a full 1:1 initiative.

What we have learned…

  1. Chromebooks are more cost effective than other device options.
  2. Chromebooks are easy to use, and provide for fast and reliable use of web resources in the classroom.
  3. Chromebooks provide for increased student accountability through device management via the Chrome Management Console.
  4. Chromebooks are virus-resistant.
  5. Chromebooks promote increased collaboration and productivity with Google Apps.

What are we doing now…next steps

We are in year two of the implementation.  Students and staff have been given Google Apps for Education (GAFE) Accounts and will have access to these resources on school devices. It is our goal to grow the number of devices available to students and teachers, build a scalable and robust network infrastructure, and strengthen the professional development offered to faculty and staff.

There are now 50 Chromebooks (2 mobile labs) available to all students at all grade levels.  The plan for the 2019-20 school year is to provide a school-issued Chromebook to each High School student (initiating the true 1:1 Program!).  Information on this program can be found HERE.

We look forward to this initiative as it helps us provide extraordinary educational opportunities for our students that help them excel as innovative leaders in our society.

Staying the Course...

FFCS and FFCHS students at all grade levels are offered several technology-based courses, including Lego Robotics, Computer Tech, Introduction to Programming, Introduction to SketchUp, Web Development, and Computer Technology.

Google Apps for Education (GAFE)

*Note: Google recently changed the name of”GAFE” to “G-Suite for Education”

What is Google Apps for Education?

FFCS Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is an integrated communication and collaboration solution, hosted by Google and managed by FFCS.  GAFE will provide the ability for FFCS students, faculty and staff to communicate, store files, and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time from anywhere.

Will my student have access to a Gmail Account?

The Google-based email account that your student uses to log into the Chromebook is the same account used in the FFCS computer lab.  This account includes a Gmail email account mailbox.

What about privacy?

FFCS is responsible for protecting and safeguarding the confidentiality of student information. FFCS has a contract with Google to provide access to Google Apps for Education to its users (students and staff) in a separate domain environment for FFCS students and staff. Under our Terms of Service Agreement with Google, like FFCS, they are obligated to comply with FERPA regulations. Click here for additional information about GAFE security & privacy.

How protected is my student from outside people?

FFCS takes security and privacy of student information very seriously.  The FFCS Google Apps domain is set up to be accessed solely by staff and students at FFCS, so your student will be able to work and collaborate in a safe and secure online environment.

What assurances has Google given FFCS that they will not collect data on my student?

FFCS has a signed agreement with Google Apps for Education.  FFCS Google Apps for Education is compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Who has access to my child’s account?

The Google Apps Terms of Service agreement with FFCS contractually ensures that our institution (students, faculty, and staff) are the sole owners of their data.  Google will only access content stored when an administrator from FFCS grants Google explicit permission to do so; one example would be to investigate inappropriate use.

Who creates the login password?

The FFCS technology support staff maintains username and passwords for FFCS staff and students.  If a parent would like to request access to their child’s account they can contact our office and we will be glad to assist if needed.