As a district we are trying continually increase our communication with stakeholders. One of the latest questions to arise has to do with “why” as a district we have chosen to go 1:1. This wasn’t a rash decision made within the last couple of months as a way to create a tech rich environment to showcase our district as a 1:1 district. Instead, this idea of going 1:1 has been a topic of conversation and planning for the past 4 years. For the past 8 years the number of devices made available for students use in the classroom has increased each year. The past 3 years we have been close to providing 1 device for every 2 students. They have been using these devices to access intervention and enrichment digital software that provide an educational resource to meet the demands of the curriculum for our students.
Each year Jaraun Dennis Chief Technology Officer for the district has presented to the board a strategic plan and as part of that plan shared with the board the progress that has been made in advancing the district toward 1:1. He has spent time working with both staff and students the past three years instructing around the instructional strategy of blended learning and how that begins to meet the needs of every child as well as in depth training on the Google apps for Education.
The district then began a pilot with 70 students at Horizon High school back in 2014 handing each one of them a chromebook to start implementing the training and the digital tools that were available. In 2015 the district purchased 800 additional chromebooks where Davis middle school extended the pilot with 7th and 8th grade and the rest of the chromebooks were infused into the elementaries and high school. In the Spring to 2016 with the chromebooks that had been previously purchased and working within the current technology budget it was determined that the funding would be available to go 1:1 6-12. As final numbers came in for pricing and some additional cost saving within the district technology budget it was determined by Mr. Dennis that every student 4-12 could have a chromebook and still allow for 10 devices in all Kindergarten through 3rd classrooms. This was reported to the board in the end of June and all elementary principals received an email with this information contingent still on the approval of the 2016-2017 school budget in July.
The district started parent meetings in the spring posted information on both the district website and district facebook page. Letters were sent out to all secondary students and elementary principals shared information at back to school and held sessions just for parents in regards to the roll out of chromebooks for the 4th and 5th graders. The curriculum department then posted on facebook about how each elementary would roll it out according to their timeline and how and when they felt their students would be ready.
As a point of clarification just because the district is offering this you still have a parental right as outlined in the chromebook policy to have the chromebook remain at school for the evening, weekend, and or summer. This was a choice parent had on the signature page that each student and parent signed.
Finally students will have these devices for three years after which they will become the students personal property and be issues a new one for the next three years. This opportunity will require each student each year to pay $20 device fee.