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April 21, 2021

Schools prepare for second year of one-to-one digital devices

Fees and repair costs

All students who receive a device to take home through the one-to-one program are required to pay a user fee. Damage or loss caused by negligence must be paid for by the student.

User fees

• iPad 4 user fee for third through eighth grade students – $25

• MacBook Air user fee for high school students – $50

 

Estimated repair prices for the iPad

• Missing or damaged charging block – $20

• Missing or damaged charging cable – $20

• Broken headphone jack –$59

• Broken screen – $135

• Damaged case – $50

• Entire device loss – $329

 

Estimated repair prices for the MacBook Air

• Missing or damaged charging block – $70

• Missing or damaged charging cable – $15

• Broken track pad –$99

• Broken screen – $165

• Water damage – $425

• Missing/damaged sleeve – $35

• Entire device loss – $830

Last year, Rowan-Salisbury went “one-to-one,” giving each child in third through 12th grade a digital device to use and take home for the school year. This year, the district will continue and improve that plan.

Third- through eighth-graders receive an iPad to use throughout the year; high school students receive a MacBook Air. This year, every kindergarten through second-grade student will have a personally assigned iPad as well. These devices will be used in the classroom.

With the exception of sixth and ninth graders, returning students will receive the same device they used last year.

“We felt like that was important,” said Andrew Smith, director of digital innovation.

Any work they did on the device last year will still be on there, and it will act as a reward for students who take care of their devices.

Although implementing a one-to-one digital conversion wasn’t easy, Smith said it was worth it. “We’re really excited about our first year,” he said. “The work was really justified.”

“We see students doing vastly different work,” he added.

This year, the district will be building off the things they learned through last year’s initial deployment to strengthen the district’s one-to-one program, as well as trying to “change the learning atmosphere more,” Smith said. “The first thing we learned was that we had to have that digital citizenship curriculum,” he said.

This year, the district will launch a digital citizenship curriculum for all students in kindergarten through 12th grade, which will teach students to be responsible online and with social media.

“Each lesson builds on each other,” Smith said, adding that the information gradually becomes more complicated based on the student’s maturity level. By the time a student is a junior in high school, they will be discussing actual Rowan County cases of times when what teens posted on social media had serious consequences.

The curriculum was developed by 26 Rowan County teachers and includes more than 200 lessons that progress over 12 years of a student’s education.

“We believe that no one else has ever done this,” Smith said, adding that they couldn’t find any other company or school district that has launched such a comprehensive digital citizenship curriculum. “We were really surprised that no one has done it,” he said. “There’s a need for it.”

Hand in hand with the digital citizenship curriculum will be a push for more parent involvement. “We’ve got to really involve our parents,” Smith said.

The district will host parent nights throughout the year to teach them how to use the devices and how to check behind their child. “Some of those basic skills are important,” he added.

Parents who are unable to physically make it to parent training night at the beginning of the year will be able to attend virtually. They will be able to watch a training video online, print and sign the responsible use policy and pay the user fee online. Specifics for each school have been sent out in a ConnectEd message.

Because the devices are already at the schools and set up from last year, the deployment process will look very different from last year, when they were released in three phases over the course of the school year.

“Everything goes out at once,” Smith said. “They can actually get those devices before school starts, depending on principal’s policy.”

Those who don’t get their devices before school starts will receive them within the first few days of school.

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