Frere Grant enables director to attend RenWeb Power Conference
Posted July 31, 2012
Angela Rasnick, new director of studies at The Webb School, recently joined school personnel from across the country at the 3rd Annual RenWeb Power Conference in Anaheim, Calif. RenWeb is a leading provider of next-generation Internet-based school information systems.
Webb uses RenWeb as the vehicle for communication between all members of the school community: faculty, staff, parents and students. The system houses all lesson plans and grade books for teachers. The program also is used to manage information about students and faculty, and the academic office uses RenWeb to manage schedules, grades, report cards and transcripts.
“My goal when registering for the RenWeb Power Conference was to learn as much as possible about the program in a setting where the company experts would be teaching the classes,” said Rasnick, who received the Frere Faculty Enhancement Grant, which made it possible for her to attend the conference. The grant, from the A. Jon Frere Enrichment Fund, is designed to defray the cost of enrichment opportunities for returning instructors through subsidizing an educational experience.
“There are many aspects of RenWeb that I have not needed to use as a teacher that I will use in the academic office. I was able to spend an entire day on scheduling and managing the system at a ‘Boot Camp’ at the Power Conference.”
The conference began with a keynote speech by the founder of RenWeb, Bob Wilbers. Each day, there were large group and breakout sessions where participants could learn about specific aspects of RenWeb. The afternoons also included many roundtables in order to provide discussion and collaboration opportunities for the participants.
Rasnick noted that RenWeb is designed and marketed with the private school in mind. Because of this objective, the program is targeted to the small school such as Webb. The best feature is a support chat button on the program that gives the user instant feedback when issues arise.
“The three most beneficial aspects of the conference were being able to learn from the experts, being able to network with other school administrators and to learn from their experiences, and being able to ask specific questions related to the unique aspects of scheduling classes at our school,” she said.
Rasnick said she hopes to further investigate the feasibility of the automated scheduling aspect of RenWeb and use it as a starting point of scheduling classes in the future. There are several other parts of the program that she will evaluate.
The new director of studies has been employed six years at Webb as Academic Support Director, English Department Chair, and journalism, English 7, English 8 and academic support teacher. She received a B.S. degree at Carson Newman College and is working toward a spring completion of a master's degree in curriculum and instruction at Middle Tennessee State University.