As part of our continued efforts to integrate technology as a tool for learning, we felt it was important to share our progress and goals where students, parents, and other interested parties could access it. We will continue to add to this page as our program continues to grow.
Last year we piloted a new format for our technology curriculum. Once a week students in grades K-5 will have “Computer Applications Class”. This class will implement basic technology skills both on the computer and the iPad appropriate for each age group. Our goal is to create a more consistent and cohesive curriculum of technology skills for students to be more successful when they reach Middle School. In grades 6-8 teachers will continue to implement technology into their regular class lessons and projects.
Going Paperless & Going Google
Our staff and students are using Google Apps for Education for email, calendar, and more! This change was implemented to increase efficiency and reduce paper use within the school. As part of this transition we have also made our newsletter paperless and are encouraging staff to send messages home via email, rather than on paper when possible. You may have also noticed that the Calendar page and Upcoming events are now pulling from a Google Calendar. Go to our Calendar of Events or School Calendar for instructions for subscribing to the calendar if you’d like to sync it with your personal calendar!
RenWeb for Students
Parents have had access to ParentsWeb to view their students’ grades, missing assignments, etc. We are excited to announce that students in grades 6-8 will now have their own log in to access this information. This allows them to be accountable for their own success, but not to have the same access as parents for updating information and viewing siblings within the family. After a pilot with grades 6-8 we may add access for younger grades.
Our computer lab has added some additional computers to accommodate our larger classes and we have updated to Windows 10 Operating System. In doing so, we have also updated our anti-virus program with Avast for Education. If you would like more information about this program and it’s features, check out www.avast.com/students
As the year starts up, we will distribute a few classroom iPads for grades K-3, and 1:1 iPads to 4-8th graders once their iPad Policy Form has been signed and returned. If you have questions about the policy please contact one of the middle school teachers or Mrs. Bertrand. Please note 4th grade iPads will be distributed within the first quarter, but will not be available the first week. Communications will be sent home to those families when iPads are ready and being implemented.
Grades 6-8 now have their own email address and Apple ID which lays the foundation for more online learning. Now, we will have more options for submitting assignments online and using apps to enhance classroom learning.
In addition to the iPad contract, students and parents were asked to sign a consent form for the creation of these accounts and to explain that all email communication and app downloads would be monitored by school staff to ensure the safety and accountability of all students. Copies of this form are available upon request.
Because students are now able to download their own apps, there have been many requests to download games in addition to the apps that we are using for class. While we understand that students need time to relax and play games, we also want to maintain the school iPads as tools instead of toys. Last year’s game policy is below. The 2015-2016 policy will be created after iPads are implemented this fall.
Game policy (2014-2015):
- Policy applies to 7th and 8th grade students. 6th grade students are not currently eligible for additional games as they are still getting used to the iPads as tools. This will be reconsidered at the end of each quarter based on teacher observations of 6th grader’s use of the iPads.
- Students must have a B- or higher in every class and have NO missing assignments in any class to be considered for eligibility
- Students will be notified if they are eligible to download games
- Once notified, students can download 1-2 non-violent, pre-approved games
- Eligibility can be revoked at any time based on teacher discretion, missing work, or a grade falling below a B- in any class. Parents can also revoke their student’s game privileges
- Eligibility will be determined at the end of each quarter and at each mid-quarter
- This policy is subject to change. Updates to this policy will be sent via email to students and posted here