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 workclosely 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 forfamilies 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 thestudents responsibility to have knowledge of where the secured laptop is at all times.