Dear Sparta Learning Community,
As you are aware, Sparta Public Schools greatly value the infusion of technology as a staple component of the teaching and learning process. Beginning in 2014, the District began to pilot various devices and software applications targeted at heightened communication, collaboration, and diversity of instruction.
Our ultimate aim was (is) to increase student achievement through the use of digital frameworks as a teaching and learning tool. As a result of this pilot, we determined that Chromebooks and Google Apps For Education (GAFE) were the tools that would provide our students with the greatest learning experiences.
During this school year, we expanded the pilot in targeted classrooms. The feedback from all five buildings has been positive, culminating in a decision to move toward a 1:1 initiative at the onset of the 2017-18 school year. This process will initially be rolled out at the middle school and high school.
Accordingly, during the fall, all students in grades 6-12 will be issued a District owned Chromebook for classroom and at-home use. The device will be maintained by your child in the same manner as a textbook. The Chromebook will remain the property of the Sparta School District, but pupils will take them home and have use of them seven days a week.
Appropriate user agreements will accompany distribution and usage, which will mirror those in other school systems that have already deployed similar 1:1 roll outs. Additionally, classrooms in grades K-5 will have access to computing devices during the school week.
This extremely exciting development is the result of thoughtful preparation, training, and teamwork among teachers, students, parents, administrators, and community members. We are finalizing plans to address network traffic, security, and privacy issues both on campus and at home. Our dedicated staff will assist teachers, students, and families with the transition to Chromebooks and GAFE. Please also know that as part of the Google suite all students K-12 have Gmail (email) accounts that are currently active.
Further details, including parent information sessions, will be forthcoming later this school year and summer, as we will continue to keep you updated on the status of the Chromebook 1:1 initiative.
This initiative represents a wonderfully progressive step toward preparing students to realize their dreams.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns.
Michael A. Rossi, Jr., Ph.D.
This monthly column will provide an opportunity for the Sparta School DIstrict's administrative staff to cover various educational topics and issues. This news column will also be a useful tool in sharing information about decisions made by the school district as well as general educational matters.
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