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Important Parent Updates About One to One Program
Posted on Aug 01, 2016
Posted by: Joe Nohra
Dear Wildcat Students and Families,
In the spring of 2007, the Struthers Board of Education adopted a program called 20/20 Vision. At the time, the incoming fall class of kindergarten students would be the graduating class of 2020. As a school district, we were emerging from fiscal emergency, and we felt it was important to have a fresh vision and direction.
The 20/20 Vision program was introduced to encourage creativity, vision, innovation and growth from the Board of Education, administrators, staff and community. The central questions posed by the 20/20 Vision were: What do you want the Struthers City School System to look like by the time the class of 2020 graduates? What should our curriculum look like? What technology should we be offering the students? What changes can we make that will produce students ready to face the challenges of the 21st Century?
The class of 2020 will enter our high school this year. The growth and innovation over the past nine years have been amazing. There have been so many milestones along the way, it would be impossible to list them here; however, this fall, we are about to roll out one of the most amazing programs yet: One to One.
Before we explain that program, we’d like to talk about how much education has changed over the years. Even after we moved into our new buildings in the early 2000’s, technology was emerging as a tool but was not quite in the mainstream. Our buildings had computer labs and perhaps one or two computers in each classroom. It was expensive and limited.
Over the years, there has been a cyber revolution in education. The internet has become a prime resource for study and research. Textbooks are all but obsolete. Assignments are given, completed, and submitted online. State testing is all done online. The spiral notebook and manila folder have been replaced by Google Docs and Cloud storage. Any school district that cannot provide students with adequate access to the Internet through desktops, laptops, notebooks or iPads is losing ground and short-changing its students. Although technology costs have been greatly reduced over the years, it is still an expensive proposition that requires careful planning and strategy to provide.
We are excited to roll out our One to One program. In the fall of 2016, each student in grades 5-12 will receive his/her own Google Chromebook from the district. The program has been in the works for a number of years because a program of this magnitude cannot be hurried. There are a few schools in the area that have already instituted such programs, so we have blended our vision and their experiences in designing our program. How does it work? Each student will be issued a Google Chromebook. It will be theirs to use for the school year.
At this point, there are two scenarios: (1) The same Chromebook will be issued to the student each year for a cycle of three years. A $25 a year fee will be charged for maintenance and repair. The student will pay an additional $25 fee at the end of the third year, and the Chromebook will be his/hers to keep. (2) The student will be issued the same computer for four years, paying the $25 fee each year. At the end of the fourth year, the Chromebook will be his/hers to keep with no further charge. The reason there are two scenarios at this point is because the district must determine if it will use a three-year or four-year cycle before the Chromebooks are replaced.
Through the efforts of the Board of Education, Superintendent Joe Nohra, former treasurer A.J. Ginnetti, current treasurer Brian Rella, IT Administrator Kevin Stoklosa and our district administrators, the costs of this program have been built into our five-year forecast. The district will purchase 1,350 Chromebooks at a cost of $170 each. There will be additional expenses for adapters, carts and licenses. These will be used in addition to the computers already in the district to provide each student with the tools for success.
The program begins in the fifth grade because the needs in the elementary school are not the same as in the middle school or high school. In the elementary school, there is no need for the technology to go home. There will be additional computers and Chromebooks provided at the elementary level, so our students there will have access to the technology during the school day.
Nine years ago, this type of program seemed like an impossibility. This October, it will be a reality. We thank the Struthers staff and community for its amazing support. It is through your support that this program will become a reality.
Your Struthers Board and Administrative Team
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