The message is a simple one; provide all children with access to learning opportunities and draw

Junior Class with their new laptops

in on the connection between school and home learning. That said, almost a year ago members of our Technology Committee supported the notion to put technology into the hands of our children and allow that learning to move into their homes. Educating our entire community and the need for technological fluency of our students and families was a key ingredient in our initiative.

So, during the long awaited assembly held on Monday, October 1, 2012, Andes students in grades 7-12 embarked on a new technology initiative moving towards a “One-to-One Laptop Program.” Each student, who received parental permission and agreed to responsibility for the use and care of their laptop, and who signed the agreement, received a new Mac laptop that they will be allowed to keep until their graduation. Students who were provided with laptops will carry them throughout the year and in June return them to be updated and then redistributed back to the same student in September 2013. This laptop initiative is Phase Two of our “Technology Initiative”, which the Board of Education planned for many years ago. Phase One was the purchasing of enough laptops for all students to use throughout the school day; the original phase began under retired Superintendent Mr. John Bernhardt’s watch.

Superintendent Dr. Robert Chakar, and Technology Coordinator Mr. Gary Winghart reviewed

Senior Class shows off their new computers

some of the general rules that have been put into place regarding the new program. Students were previously provided the expectations of the purpose and appropriate use of the computers. Students were reminded that their computers must be treated well and that if they were seen breaking the rules, and not upholding their agreement, their laptop would be taken from them.

The ACS Technology Committee, consisting of Mr. Gary Winghart, Mrs. Wendy Redden, Mr. Jeffrey Rhone, Mrs. Grace Bacon, Mrs. Jennifer Ennist and Mr. Ed McGee, have collectively spent months working on and planning for this initiative to take place. Many members of the committee, along with Dr. Chakar, visited school districts down-state, including Putnam Valley Middle School, to view their program in action, and came back with many wonderful ideas.

We are very excited to be the first school in our area to provide such a cutting-edge technological learning opportunity for our students, both here at school and to support their work at home. This is a sign that small schools and supportive communities can do powerful things! ~


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