Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Letter Home for ALL Parents of Grade 8 Children

This letter will be sent home with all GRADE 8 students on Monday, June 9, 2014 (when all the grade 8s return from spring camp).

June 2, 2014

Dear Parents of Grade 8 Students,

This year has been a very exciting year for our middle years students with the implementation of the iPad initiative in Grades 6-8. This project is one part of the St. James-Assiniboia School Division's commitment to enhancing learning environments by promoting digital workspaces for students K-12. As your son/daughter transitions to Grade 9 in 2014-2015 students will continue to be given the opportunity to utilize technology during their school day. Although the division will not be providing one iPad for every Grade 9 student, students are welcome to bring their own device to school. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a Division initiative in SJASD designed to embrace the mobile devices that students have available and bring to school daily. Allowing students to use their own devices in class will enable them to be more productive at school by allowing them to take notes, access digital resources and information whenever and wherever they need it. Participation in this initiative is completely voluntary and is a choice made by families. Please be advised that teachers will allow the use of these devices in their classrooms and at school as long as they are used to support learning. For students entering Grade 9, BYOD is the continuation of the digital learning environment in which they were immersed in Grade 8.

The following is general information about the Grade 9-12 BYOD Learning Environment. If you have any other questions please contact your school principal.

What devices will be supported?
Students are welcome to use iOS or Android tablets or Smartphones as well as Mac or Windows based laptops. Given the form factor, a tablet or laptop will better meet the needs of the students learning experiences.

When can students bring their devices?
Students will be invited to bring their device after they have signed exhibit IJNDC-E-2 Student Acceptable Use Agreement and completed any required forms that the IT Department may require to allow their device to access the Division’s wireless network.

Where can students use their devices?
Students will be allowed to use their devices in the classroom and throughout the school to support their learning. There will be guidelines governing acceptable, appropriate and safe use of these devices. Although students are using their personal devices, they are expected at all times to adhere to the Acceptable Student Use of Digital Technologies and Electronic Communication policy (IJNDC, IJNDC-R). Infractions of the policy will result in suspension of all wireless access to the Division network.

What happens if my child loses or damages their device at school?
Students are responsible for their device at all times. The Division cannot accept responsibility for lost, damaged or stolen devices.

Will they be able to charge their Device at school during the day?
Due to the number of students we expect will want to participate in the BYOD initiative, we cannot reasonably expect to provide charging facilities in school for student owned devices. Students will need to ensure that their devices are fully charged when they arrive at school.

Tell me more about the Acceptable Use Agreement.
The Acceptable Student Use of Digital Technologies and Electronic Communication policy (IJNDC, IJNDC-R) clearly stipulates acceptable and prohibited uses of the Division network infrastructure. The intent of the BYOD initiative is to support learning, not to allow students to text their friends during class. Providing students the opportunity to use their devices in school also comes with the expectation that students will do so in a responsible manner. Although the device belongs to the student, by choosing to use the device on the Division network, students also agree to abide by Division policy. While we will not confiscate personal devices belonging to students in cases of infractions, we will disable all network access to student devices in these situations.

My child doesn’t have a device to bring to school. Are there plans in place for these students?
Yes. Each High School will be provided with a limited pool of devices that will be available to teachers to use in their classes with students who may not have a personal device.

What if my child needs support using their device or getting it connected?
If necessary, IT Department staff will assist students in getting connected to the school WiFi network. Beyond establishing a connection to the network, all other technical issues related to the device will be the student’s responsibility to troubleshoot.

If you have any further questions please contact the office at your convenience.

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