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|Written by Gillian Smith|
|Tuesday, 26 November 2013 12:02|
With pending completion of the school building project fast approaching, school administrators are looking at utilizing the building to its highest potential, including implementing a one-to-one laptop program.
Superintendent Benedict Tantillo presented the program to the School Committee last week, highlighting the simultaneous implementation with the move to the new school. The new building has been designed to support an entirely wireless learning system, which sup- ports the program that aims to give all sixth through twelfth grade students a MacBook or MacBook Air laptop for the entirety of the school year. Discussions for the program began in 2010, when the school building project was under design. Since that time, the school has been designed and developed in a way that would enhance students learning through the one-to-one program. There are minimal computer labs at the school, enough only for the technical education and music rooms.
“The program follows our strategic plan and goals to support a curriculum that is robust, rigorous and relevant to all students,” Tantillo said. “Another goal is to inspire authentic collaboration between students and to ensure they are college and career ready, as well as globally aware.”
Though the initial five-year plan was to have a laptop environment for the lower grades as well, Tantillo said Chandler will maintain its iPad program and Alden will be given refurbished laptops. The lower grades, he said, will be “saturated with technology, but not on a 24/7 basis.”
With the implementation of the program, students in sixth grade and up will start the school year by signing out a laptop that will become their responsibility twenty-four hours a day until the last day of school. Once returned, the laptops will be cleaned and updated and returned to the same student at the beginning of the following school year. Laptops that belonged to seniors will be reassigned to incoming sixth-graders. Parents will be responsible for paying a $70 insurance fee. Families who receive free or reduced lunch with not have to pay the insurance fee. Parents and students will also have to attend a care and maintenance meeting in order to sign for a computer.
The laptops will be on a four-year lease and Duxbury will serve as a visiting district where other schools can visit and explore the implementation of the one-to-one program. Tantillo said the program will take three to five years to fully implement.
“It’s really a revolution in education,” he said. “We will be changing the way we learn and the way we teach. It’s a very exciting program.”
Tantillo implemented the one-to-one program in his previous district and said he is confident the program would succeed in Duxbury.