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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the 1-to-1 Technology Program?
On Dec. 8, 2014, the Spring Hill Board of Education approved the purchase of MacBook Air laptops for all students in grades 6-12 (Spring Hill Middle and High School students). The purchase was made after months of planning and based on recommendations from committees at the schools and a parent-patron group. The first Macs were rolled out in early 2015.
What are the benefits of this program to learning?
The initiative supports the district’s Mission Statement, “to engage students to learn, create, adapt and succeed.” By providing 1-to-1 technology, students will have an important tool that supports the learning and discovery process and helps ensure their ultimate success. Students who have attended schools with a 1-to-1 computer plan have been more successful, more engaged, less discipline issues and better attendance than students who did not have a 1-to-1 initiative.
How will the program be funded?
The school district has an annual technology budget designed to maintain and replenish current technology. Student 1-to-1 will create a slight increase in that refresh cost, and the district plans to allocate annual funds to ensure the sustainability of these devices. There also will be savings realized in other areas due to the implementation of this program (e.g., computer labs). In addition, the machines have trade-in value at the end of four years, which will be applied toward future purchases. This initial purchase was completely paid by utilizing savings from the 2011 bond issue.
May students and families opt-out of utilizing the 1-to-1 technology?
A family may opt-out of receiving a MacBook for student’s use at home. However, many assignments will require a computer to complete. All students will use a computer at school even if they do not take it home.
What is the fee associated with using a MacBook Air?
The annual damage and maintenance fee of $20 helps finance a joint damage/loss program in which the student is insured against damage or loss of the device (see below). This usage fee does not replace the annual instructional materials fee. In addition, students who qualify for Nutrition Benefits, according to USDA guidelines, will have the fee waived. Note that computers will not be available for purchase by students/families at the completion of high school. See Loan Agreement.
How is damage of computers handled?
The procedure for repairing or replacing devices is outlined in the Damage/Loss Policy. Each school will have a location where students may bring devices that need to be repaired. The first major damage or loss is paid jointly by the district at 80% of the cost and 20% by the student. Further details are included in the Damage/Loss Policy. Students will be checked out a “loaner” device, if necessary, until their device is repaired and returned to the student.
What will be the process for disbursing and collecting devices?
Parents with 6th grade students and also any students new to the district are asked to attend a parent orientation meeting or review the 1-to-1 presentation posted on the Resources page. In addition, all forms must be completed in advance of distribution. Students will also have large and small group meetings in which expectations are reviewed and devices are distributed. Distribution will be managed at the schools. Devices will be collected and checked in, similar to textbook check-in, at the end of the year to allow the Technology Department to update and repair the devices, as necessary.
What policies and procedures are necessary to ensure student safety and security?
First and foremost, student education is critical for ensuring student safety and security. Common Sense Media is a digital literacy and citizenship curriculum that is used in district classrooms to educate students regarding safe Internet practices. That combined with detailed guidance in the district Acceptable Use Policy and building conduct codes provides clear direction to help ensure safety. Finally, content filtering (iBoss), device management (JAMF), data encryption, and firewall security provide the boundaries that limit breaches in safety and security.
What filter is in place at school to ensure appropriate access to Internet resources?
The district’s current Internet filtering system (iBoss) is designed to provide appropriate access to resources while using the district network. Education will be provided to help parents procure resources and develop practices to help ensure the safety of their students on home networks (see below).
What data management is necessary to ensure that student data, records and privacy are protected?
The district’s current data policies and procedures, including data encryption and firewall, are sufficient to ensure that student data on the district network are secure. Education will be provided to students and parents, including practices that ensure they protect data that they may choose to place on their device. The district’s technology management program also provides the ability to “wipe” devices at any time if the device is lost or stolen. Procedures for requesting district intervention on the personal device will be distributed to students and parents.
Are there resources for families related to Internet safety and parental controls?
Families will be provided a list of web site resources to help parents and guardians make safety choices that fit their families. There are many helpful tools to manage student use of devices and browsing at home, which will be provided to families prior to deployment. In addition, off-site filtering is available upon request. Please contact your school to request a form.