District announces start of Chromebook initiative

Swanton Local School District officials Monday announced the start of the 1-to-1 (1 device for every 1 student) Chromebook device initiative. The initiative provides the opportunity for every fifth through twelfth grade student to have the use of a device to complete their coursework and enhance their educational experience at home and school.

During the rollout of the Chromebooks, parents and students will view a presentation that will explain policies, procedures and expectations and administrators will be present to answer questions, time permitting.

Parents of students in grades 5, 9, 10, 11 and 12 should plan to attend the Jan. 6, 2 mandatory parents night at the Swanton High School auditorium. Parent meeting times by student grade include:

* parent(s)/guardian(s) of 5th grade students: 6 p.m.

* parent(s)/guardian(s) of 9th & 10th grade students: 7 p.m.

* parent(s)/guardian(s) of 11th & 12th grade students: 8 p.m.

Parents/guardians with students in multiple grades only need to attend one meeting.

Students will each be issued Chromebooks the following week at school after receiving instruction on care and use of the device, and once the $35 insurance assessment has been paid. Parents can, and are encouraged to make that payment at the parents’ night meeting. An additional meeting will be held for parents of students entering grades 7 and 8 prior to deployment at the start of next school year.

Teachers have been receiving training on the Chromebooks to be used as a primary educational tool throughout the first part of the school year on the days of the district’s planned late-starts. Roger Minier and Tonya Koenig of Northwest Ohio Educational Technology, along with District Director of Technology, Brandon Schroth, have provided the professional development for staff.

Though the district is initiating this 1-to-1 deployment about 10 years after the first schools began such a concept, we are still considered pioneers in this educational movement. More and more, schools are compelled to take this additional step into the 21st century in order to better prepare students for what they can expect after their formative education. “Whether planning to further their education at college or entering the workforce, people are expected to know and understand the use of basic technology. This plan is a step in that direction,” said a release from the district.

Superintendent Jeff Schlade further stated in support of the Board of Education’s approval, “It’s exciting to think about the technological advances in our district. The Chromebooks add a personal touch to the natural way each student learns. These devices amplify that learning, and as the educational leader of the district, it is important we give the children we care so much about all the advantages that this initiative creates.”