• Why is the district purchasing laptops for all 6th grade students?

    The district is working to prepare students for the 21st century in which technology will

    continue to play an ever-increasing role. The computers will be a tool that students and

    teachers can use to facilitate inquiry based instruction, problem solving, and

    communication. Teachers that have worked in a one-to-one classroom report increased

    student engagement once the technology devices were introduced.

    How will the incorporation of a laptop change the learning experience for my child?

    Teachers and students will have the opportunity to access a variety of internet and

    software applications that can enhance the learning environment. Students will be able

    to instantly access news, blogs, interactive maps, virtual experiments, and a multitude of

    other resources as they investigate and eventually master new content and skills.

    How will my child complete assignments without a textbook?

    Many of our textbooks already have an on-line version. For those without an electronic

    version, teachers will work with students to identify reputable sources and sites that can

    be accessed to assist with assignments. Videotaping lessons and/or podcasting may also

    be utilized as a way to provide students with anytime access to the instructor’s lesson.

    What additional cost will be associated with the laptop that my student will be issued?

    The equipment is being purchased through the district leasing fund. There may be

    additional optional accessories that students may wish to purchase (external mice, ear

    buds, etc.) that will not be supplied by the district.

    Will my child’s internet access be filtered or monitored?

    We are working on a system that provides the same internet restrictions that are

    currently in place while students are connected to the Unit 5 network. More information

    and specific details will be provided closer to deployment. While on the network,

    students will be monitored by teacher software.

    What will occur if my child damages the laptop?

    The technology department is currently working on policy language and procedures that

    will address this question. Additional information regarding potential consequences

    and/or cost associated with excessive or repetitive damage will be discussed at the

    parent boot camp in August. Some damage may also be covered by company warranty.

    Replacement machines will be available in buildings for loan if a machine has to be sent

    away for repair. Students will have the same machine throughout their middle school

    career. Individual machine care is extremely important.

    What will the expectations be for parents?

    Parents will be required to attend a “Technology Boot Camp” evening in August. At that

    meeting district staff will conduct informational sessions, disseminate machines, discuss

    procedures and policies as well as answer questions. Each parent will sign an agreement

    in which they acknowledge responsibility for the machine and overseeing the use of the

    device. Computers WILL NOT be distributed until a parent has attended the boot camp

    and the parental permission agreement has been signed.

    Will the district infrastructure support the integration of 1000 additional devices?

    Technology staff will be working during the summer to ensure each building has a robust

    infrastructure that will support the number of devices that will be utilized.

    How are teachers being prepared for this conversion?

    Professional development is being designed to meet the needs of the teachers. The first

    focused professional development will be on Monday, April 30
    th at the district School

    Improvement Day. Throughout the summer and into the fall there will be additional

    professional development opportunities. Additional technology staff will work

    throughout the year to support teachers with the digital conversion.

    What if I don’t have internet access at home?

    Students without internet access will need to notify their teachers. Teachers will work

    closely with students to assist with completion of internet based lessons. Additionally,

    the district has worked with local internet providers to offer a reduced internet rate for

    families receiving assistance. Please contact your school office for additional details.

    Is it an option for students to leave laptops in their lockers?

    This depends on whether or not the student has any homework assignments. It is the

    students responsibility to have knowledge of where the secured laptop is at all times.