FUTURE READY: District Prepares for One-to-One Laptop Initiative
Over the last 15 years, our community has shown their generosity and faith in the Snoqualmie Valley School District (SVSD) by passing bonds and levies to fund state-of-the-art facilities and enhanced programming to help ensure our students have access to one of the best educational systems in the state. The district strives to create technology-rich experiences for our K-12 learning community. Our commitment to technology is strongly aligned to our desire to provide the best teaching and learning environment for our students, teachers, and staff. With the passage of the most recent Technology Levy in 2018, Snoqualmie Valley has entered into another chapter of innovation and will be providing each secondary student (graders 6-12) with access to an individual computing device -- an initiative called One-to-One Computing.
In the summer of 2018, we launched this initiative with significant infrastructure upgrades throughout the district, in order to prepare our network and systems for the dramatic increase in devices. The next phase of this project will include providing laptop computers to all middle and high school students, to use at school and at home. This assignment process will be phased in over the course of the next 12 months, starting with students at Snoqualmie Middle School and Mount Si High School in the fall of 2019. The program will continue to equip students at Chief Kanim Middle School, Twin Falls Middle School, and Two Rivers School, later in the school year. Each fall thereafter, the district will assign devices to all incoming sixth graders and new students.
Like many schools in the region that have recently rolled out one-to-one laptop initiatives with great success, we are excited to offer all students the opportunity to use a Snoqualmie Valley School District-issued laptop, responsibly, both in class and at home, to enhance their academic experience. Issuing students district laptops and allowing them to use the laptops at home provides several advantages. Perhaps most importantly, the district hopes to make technology access and learning opportunities equitable for all students. Without this consistent approach, once students leave the school campus, they are exposed to a different set of tools at home. Some have equivalent technology, but not the same software used by their teachers, for example. And, other students have no technology at home and are limited in what they can do after the school day or at a public library. With the SVSD One-to-One Initiative, all 6-12 students will have the same tools aligned with teaching and designed to best support their learning.
To support this initiative, we have created a One-to-One Device Handbook and will be adding a website (coming soon) as a resource for parents, guardians and students. Here you will find an overview of the initiative, including: why SVSD is going to one-to-one, information about the laptop and how to take care of it. In addition, information about the software that will come pre-installed, content filtering, and support are included, along with guidelines on safe computing and digital citizenship. Families will be encouraged to review these materials, as well as check back from time to time for new and updated information.
The district is also sensitive to concerns that issuing laptops may increase screen time usage. Training for teachers will provide practical advice and strategies for limiting student access to technology for classroom activities that do not require technology. Student training for the one-to-one program will help students learn and maintain good digital habits, that we hope will last a lifetime. Both teachers and parents will have access to tools to help monitor student usage and will be encouraged to engage in conversations on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.
SMS parents can learn about the 1:1 Initiative at an upcoming Parent Meeting on May 23 at 6 p.m., at the Freshman Campus. Next fall, MSHS parents will have a similar opportunity to learn more and ask questions. Students at SMS and MSHS will receive information in the fall when devices will be distributed.
On behalf of the Technology Team and all SVSD staff, we look forward to providing your learners with a rich and engaging educational experience to prepare them to be future ready.