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Sixth graders issued individual Chromebooks

Sixth graders issued individual Chromebooks

For the first time in the history of the Waynesville R-VI School District, each sixth grader received a Chromebook through a 1:1 technology device to student program called EDGE, Educating our Digital Generation Effectively.

“I am super excited because we don’t have to share computers in class anymore and I think it will make everything go more efficiently now,” said Payton Burke, a sixth grader.

It’s not just students who are showing enthusiasm for the 1:1 initiative. Robin Woolsey, technology integration specialist at the Waynesville Sixth Grade Center, looked forward to this first day back for students following the winter break.  “I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep last night,” she said.

Students received the laptops Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, from the district’s information systems and curriculum and instructional technology offices.

“After months of planning and work, it’s great to see them in the students’ hands,” said Mike Henson, director of curriculum and instructional technology. “Students kept thanking us over and over for the opportunity. Several said this was the first computer they have ever had; others said the one at home was old and slow, so this would make their homework go so much faster. While they are excited, the students also understand the responsibility of taking care of a laptop.”

Each laptop is assigned to an individual student and the same laptop will follow a student through four years of school in the Waynesville R-VI School District.

“I feel privileged to be the first; I know that I need to be more responsible so that I don’t ruin it for other kids,” Burke said.

The district’s content filters will remain in use on the computer, even when it’s at home.

“I’ve been to multiple schools, but I have never had the experience of taking one home. It will change an aspect of learning. I will be able to do work at home without having to ask my mom for her computer,” said Oryon Cervantes, also a sixth grader. “Since we are the first, I will be able to teach others how to use them.”

The Chromebooks at the Sixth Grade Center are just the beginning of the district’s 1:1 initiative.

“For the past several years, community members and members of our Comprehensive School Improvement Planning Team have listed increasing the use of technology in the classroom as a high priority for our school district. In addition, during our Proposition 1 campaign, voters supported our use of the additional funds for technology in the hands of students. Effective use of technology has become a prerequisite for success in colleges and the workforce. Through this initiative, our students will learn to communicate effectively using tools that only technology can provide and enhance their critical thinking skills through the use of technology. This initiative will prepare our students for success in and beyond the classroom,” said Dr. Brian Henry, superintendent.

The School Board has approved a plan to expand the EDGE program until all students in grades 6-12 have access to a technology device that they may take home by January 2020. Students in grades 3-5 will have cart-based Chromebooks that will remain at school. To allow the Chromebooks to go home with their children, parents will need to attend an EDGE parent meeting and sign a permission form. (Announcements will be made about when EDGE parent sessions will be held for additional grades.)

Funds from Proposition 1, the school tax levy increase passed in April 2017, are speeding up the process. In addition to keeping the district eligible for Federal B-2 Heavily Impacted Aid, Prop 1 provides $600,000 annually in new local revenue for safety and technology.

 

Chromebook Computer Chromebook Chromebook

"Issued January 4, 2019"