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On Thursday, August 18th, the Meramec Valley R-III School District rolled out 750 Chromebooks for students in grades 6 – 8 as the first phase of our 1:1 Initiative.
The MVR-III Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) has long included the target of exploring the implementation of a 1:1 Initiative for the 2016-2017 school year. The exploration and planning began during the 2015-2016 school year with the Technology Committee. After much research and discussion, we created a 3 year plan of action for providing Chromebooks to all students in grades 5 – 12.
Under the approved 3-year plan, Chromebooks will be assigned to students to have throughout the school year, taking them home at night and bringing them back each day. This will allow students anywhere/anytime accessibility to school work, and the ability to collaborate with teachers and peers. Year 1 of the plan will see Chromebooks assigned to all students in grades 6 – 8; Year 2 will include students in grades 9 – 12. By year 3, new Chromebooks will be purchased for students in grades 6 and 9, with devices from 8th grade rotating down to 5th grade.
Funding the 1:1 Initiative was made possible by not having to refresh a large number of more expensive student desktop computers in labs and classrooms. Students in grades K - 4 will also benefit from the 3-year plan. While we do not foresee elementary students taking devices home in the near future, the 1:1 Chromebook rollout will free a great deal of existing mobile technology in the secondary buildings that will be distributed to the elementary buildings.
In preparation for the 1:1 rollout, teachers have been working hard throughout last school year and during the summer. A Google Leadership Group has been used to keep up-to-date on Google Apps for Education (GAFE), which integrate seamlessly with the Chromebook technology. Six days of summer PD sessions were held with nearly 80 staff members attending, many of whom attended multiple days. Another cohort has resulted in the first wave of Google Certified Educators, earned by teachers completing a minimum of 15 hours of coursework and passing a rigorous 3 hour online assessment!
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