Thursday, March 31, 2016

Will Students Keep The Devices Over The Summer?

Chromebooks will be given to all students the first day of school in the Fall of 2016.  Update  - Chromebooks will be available the week prior to school starting.  Exact details will be included in our parent letter that is delivered in the summer.  Additional details will be posted on this blog in a new post.  The long-term design of our program is that a student will keep their Chromebook as long as they are enrolled at Roncalli, including over the summer.

Students withdrawing before graduating from Roncalli will be required to turn their Chromebook in on their final day of school.  When a student graduates from Roncalli, their Chromebook will be transitioned from Roncalli management to complete student control. This includes removal from cloud management software and the end of Roncalli support.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Loaner Devices

Charging stations will be available in the Cafeteria, and Resource Rooms before, during, and after school. A charging station will be available in the Media Center before and after school. All PE students will be able to charge their devices during class.

What happens if the student forgets their Chromebook?  Loaner devices will be available from the Media Center.  They are for school use only.  Students will be required to return the loaner unit before leaving school for the day.   Update - Loaner devices will NOT be available.  If a student leaves their device at home, they will have to make-up their work.  If a student's device is not charged, a student may use one of the charging stations before, during or after school.

What happens if the device is being repaired?  A maintenance spare will be available from the IT Office.  A maintenance spare may be used for multiple days at a time.  Students will be allowed to take the device home.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Why Chromebooks?

Roncalli has utilized Google Apps for Education (GAFE) for the past three years for Google email and Google Drive. During that time, we placed Windows laptops, Chromebooks, and iPads into the classrooms to evaluate as a "1to1" device. After careful consideration, based on feedback from teachers and usefulness in the classroom, Chromebooks were selected.

Chromebooks natively work with GAFE and provide the powerful Google Chrome browser for internet access. Over the past few years, many improvements have continuously been made to Chromebooks including the ability to store non-Google created files and the ability to work offline. Finally, GAFE is a centrally managed solution allowing our engineers to make changes without touching each device.

All students will receive a Chromebook to utilize at school, on the go, and at home. We will not support students bringing their own devices into the classroom.

Friday, March 25, 2016

President Hollowell Announces 1:1 Chromebook Initiative

At our Board meeting this past Monday, a tuition structure was unanimously approved that makes allowance for an expenditure of funds to provide the necessary equipment (1,200 Chromebooks) and infrastructure to move to a 1-to-1 instructional environment next year.

This decision was made after extensive discussion, experimentation, analysis, observations, and research over the past several years. The rationale driving this decision is that we believe the effective usage of these tools will improve the teaching of our faculty and the learning of our students. It's that simple.

The board has done an exceptional job of serving as stewards of our collective investment in Roncalli. Affordability is always front and center in our discussions regarding our budget and this year was no different. For two consecutive years our tuition has increased by 2.0% per year. That compares remarkably well to an average tuition increase of 4.57% at all of the other Catholic high schools in Marion county last year alone. We are able to absorb the cost of the computers and infrastructure by adopting a 4% increase in tuition for the 2016-17 school year.

The details of this transition will be communicated in a timely fashion so that students and teachers are well prepared to begin the 2016-17 school year. You can expect further details regarding the implementation of this program near the end of April.

I am sure we have lots to learn and that there will be a rough spot or two as we continue to grow in our understanding of how to best use these tools. But I am equally convinced that we will make this work well for our students and our families.