FAQ

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At The Fletcher School, we are in the process of transitioning to a 1:1, school-issued, Apple device platform from both a student learning and institutional perspective. We are doing this to remain relevant to the students we serve. This involves incorporating a student centered, constructivist, project-based learning model that leverages 21st century productivity tools, digital content and curriculum, and learning management systems. We will implement a blended learning model that combines the best of online learning with the best of face-to-face instruction. Learning will become more personalized and, paradoxically, more collaborative, as well.  Great teachers do this anyway, but with technology, it can be taken to the next level.

How will the new Apple technology be used in the classroom?

The vision for the technology program at Fletcher is to ENHANCE instruction through the use of technology in the classroom. We would never want to replace the tried and true techniques of Fletcher’s program such as multisensory instruction, diagnostic-prescriptive teaching, and use of the Orton-Gillingham approach. We do want to offer our students the very best opportunity to learn based on their individual learning styles and believe that the use of Apple technology can enhance, supplement, and support the teacher’s instruction in ways that will engage our students and allow them new avenues to demonstrate their skills.

How and when will the devices be distributed?

We will hold a “1:1 Deployment Day Orientation” that the student and at least one parent will be required to attend. Orientation dates will be staggered and attendees will learn specifics about the 1:1 iPad/MacBook program, including maintenance, software downloads, instructional uses, Apple IDs and more.

Will my student need an Apple ID?

All students will create an Apple ID during orientation in the Fall. A credit card will NOT be attached to this account.

Will students take their devices home with them?

Yes, students will take their devices home daily to complete school work and to charge them in preparation for the next day.

How are students and staff being trained for this 1:1 rollout?

During the Deployment Orientation, students will be introduced to the basics. Throughout the year, textbooks, apps, and web tools will be introduced during class. Faculty members have been receiving training since June 2013 and are offered weekly technology workshops to learn instructional uses of Google Drive, Edmodo, iMovie, etc.

Will there be ongoing education for parents and caregivers?

Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, The Fletcher School will offer “Digital Parent Nights” throughout the year. Topics will include Internet safety, digital citizenship, and technology integration into the curriculum.

How can I become familiar with basic iPad/MacBook functions?

Visit Apple’s Mac Basics site and iPad User Guide for hardware support. We will also post video tutorials on Apptitude2Learn.com and our iTunes U Public Site.

Will a school-issued case and/or accessories be provided for the device?

For the 2013-2014 pilot project, we will provide a case and a charger. Students are required to use the case provided, keep the charger at home, and ensure that the device is fully charged overnight.

Where and how should devices be stored and cared for at home?

We highly recommend that devices stay in a common area of the home. When not in use, devices should remain in their cases or on the charger. All devices should be kept away from heat and water.

What happens if the device breaks?

The Homeroom teacher should be notified and the device should be returned to the school as soon as possible. If needed, the student will be provided with a loaner device to use during the repair. All repairs must be done through the School. The device must not be taken to any other vendors for repair or service as doing so will void the warranty. Should the warranty be voided in this manner, parents will be responsible for the full replacement value of the device.

What is my family’s responsibility for loss or breakage of the device?

Parents are financially liable for the cost of repair or replacement of damaged devices. Any necessary repair of the device will incur an escalating fee, according to the schedule below. The incident count is per school year.

  • First instance of accidental damage – $50
  • Second instance – $150
  • Third instance – Full Value
  • Loss of device due to theft/fire/flood/vandalism – Full Value

Payment of all repair/replacement charges will be handled by bank draft and will be reported on the monthly statement.

Is there an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)? Where can I find it?

The Acceptable Use Policy is an appendix of the Student Handbook and can also be found in the Resource Document section of RenWeb ParentsWeb.

How are issues of inappropriate usage handled?

Inappropriate usage will be handled following the current discipline procedures outlined in the Student Handbook.

How will schoolwork be affected if my child loses the privilege to use the device?

Students are responsible for completing all assignments, even if they lose their digital privileges. This may mean using traditional paper and pencil.

What is my family’s responsibility in monitoring what my child does on the device at home?

Parents need to pay special attention to their child’s online activities. This includes checking their participation in social networking sites to ensure that they do not divulge personal information, as well as monitoring websites visited.

 

Will the device need to be connected to the Internet to complete homework assignments?

A home Internet connection is highly recommended. Although some files can be stored within the device internally, most assignments require online access. Students can view items that they have stored online in Google Drive using the Offline Doc mode.  Parents should continue to check RenWeb for homework assignments.

Is the school using a content filter for Internet browsing?

We do not block to be restrictive, but we block to be safe. We do make efforts to block pornography and other obscene items students might stumble upon while online.  However, please know that no filtering solution is fool-proof and there may be instances when students stumble upon inappropriate items.  Students will have access to a broad range of websites so that teachers can have the freedom to tailor the technology to fit their lessons.  We hope that the digital citizenship classes and other lessons will help your child learn how to use the internet responsibly.

Is there a way I can have similar filtering options at home?

OpenDNS is our recommended solution and it’s FREE. It is a parental control solution that empowers parents to manage Web access across every device that accesses the Internet on home networks.

What are the specs and configuration of the device?

Students in grades K-4 will use iPads. Students in grades 5-12 will use MacBooks.

Can my child personalize the device in any way?

A student’s wallpaper/lock screen can be personalized as long as it is educationally appropriate. We require all iPads to include the student’s name on the lock screen for easy identification.

What are the expectations around using the device at home? Is it just for school work or can my child use it for personal or entertainment reasons?

All school-related apps and content take priority on the device.  If space is available, pre-approved (by teacher and/or parent) apps and books may be installed. If space on the device becomes low, students will be required to remove personal apps and content.

Who else can use my child’s device?

The devices are to be used by Fletcher students ONLY. All MacBooks and iPads are password protected.

What apps will be preloaded on the devices?

All devices come with native apps. The Fletcher School will also preload apps based on subject area, grade level, and teacher request.

How will students learn to use the device and apps?

Use of the device and apps will be integrated into the classroom curriculum. Students will also receive dedicated training during the device orientation and throughout the school year.

Can we purchase or install apps ourselves on the device?

All school-related apps and content take priority on the device.  If space is available, pre-approved (by teacher and/or parent) apps and books may be installed. If space on the device becomes low, students will be required to remove personal apps and content.

Will students have email or other accounts?

Students in grades 4-12 have email addresses under the Google Apps for Education Portal. The email addresses are assigned with the student’s first initial and last name followed by @thefletcherschool.org (e.g. afalcon@thefletcherschool.org.) Click here for more information.

How can I access or view my child’s digital work?

All students have 30 GB of space in Google Drive and are encouraged to back up files there, rather than on a flash drive or external hard drive. Click here for more information.

Can I get a tuition credit if my child brings their own device?

Since the technology initiative is not being funded by a “Technology Fee,” but rather through a combination of monetary gifts that are restricted for this purpose, existing dollars, and tuition dollars, a “credit” is not an option, even if your child currently owns a personal device of similar capabilities.  Students will be issued a school-supported Apple device, which contains specific instructional software and the support that is required for their classes. This means that all students and teachers, regardless of socio-economic level, will be equipped with the same, device as everyone else in the grade level.   This also allows our IT staff consistency in the areas of both repair/replacement and professional development.  This does not mean your child can never bring in a personal device, with teacher approval, but it may be limited in functionality and support cannot be offered through our IT Department.