Innovation & Excellence
Our Tech Curriculum Includes
- Robotics for 6th, 7th & 8th
- Google Chromebooks
- 1:1 iPads
- 6th Grade Visit to Tech Museum
The 1:1 iPad Program
The focus of the iPad program at St. Francis Solano School is to provide tools and resources to students and teachers to enhance and assist in their continued education. The iPad provides a simple and portable way to manage information and allows students constant access to learning opportunities. The individual use of iPads is a way to empower students to maximize their full potential and to prepare them for high school, college and beyond.
What happens when a new model is released and/or new technologies emerge?
Technology is changing and evolving constantly, and St. Francis will evaluate new products and make adjustments as necessary. For us, the device is simply a tool to be used in the service of teaching and learning. Education must always come before any particular educational tool — whether a desk, a textbook, a ruler, a calculator, or an iPad.
Are families/students expected to purchase an iPad for their student?
No. The iPad program is supported by the St. Francis Dads Club and the Club 211 initiative, through fundraising events and private donations. To learn more, visit the Dad’s Club webpage.
May students opt out of using the iPad altogether?
No. Learning to use the iPad as a research, presentation and instructional tool will be built into the curriculum in all grades, and all students are required to participate.
Do students get to keep their iPads when they graduate?
No. The iPads are the property of St. Francis, as are the applications. Students can save their work on the iPad to their Google accounts (via email or cloud) so they have access from a personal computing device now, and after graduation.
My student already has an iPad. Will he/she be able to use that one?
No. For the sake of the educational equality and school mission, St. Francis asks that only the school-issued devices be used. Please refer to the school policy on cell phones, laptops, iPods, and iPads.
When do students first receive their iPads?
All students will receive iPads in the first few weeks of classes in the Fall trimester. Additional information will be provided via mail over the summer before school commences.
Will training be provided for students on how to use the iPad?
Yes. Training will be embedded in the curriculum in each class.
Will technical support be provided for students and their iPads on campus?
Yes. A faculty or tech committee member will be available on campus to assist with technical issues. Loaner iPads will be available for students if their iPad is not functioning properly. St. Francis will only offer support for school-issued iPads.
Do students buy the apps for the iPad, or does the school?
The school purchases and maintains the applications on all devices.
Can students install their own apps outside of what is required for coursework?
No. The devices will be pre-installed, and updated, with all the necessary apps. Device setting will prevent students from being able to install applications. However, recommendations for additional applications are encouraged and can be submitted through the students’ teachers.
Will students only be using digital books (ebooks)?
Not exclusively. Traditional textbooks will still be used in many classes. Even though it is our goal to reduce the cost and weight of textbooks, St. Francis uses the best available materials for each learning environment. The faculty selects materials for instruction, including digital sources and traditional textbooks. With this hybrid approach, the school hopes a significant savings will eventually be passed on to families.
What accessories will be provided with the iPad?
Students in grades 6-8 will receive a charger, cover, and screen protector. iPads for grades K-5 will also have these accessories, but they will remain at the school at all times.
What happens if an iPad gets broken, lost, or stolen?
If at any point the student damages, misplaces, or has his/her issued iPad stolen, the family will be financially responsible for the cost to the school for all repairs and/or replacement involved. Refer to the Contract for further details.
Should parents purchase insurance to cover student use of the iPad?
St. Francis has purchased AppleCare+ for all the iPads. This coverage includes up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a $49 service fee. In the event this coverage is needed, the family is responsible for the $49 service fee to repair the device. If it is damaged more than twice in the two year period, the family is responsible for the repair/replacement of the device. Options for additional insurance, if desired, will be made available. This insurance may not cover all types of damage, so students are expected to demonstrate proper care for and use of the iPads.
Aren’t kids already overexposed to technology and social media?
We are aware of the dangers associated with overexposure to technology and social media. Our job is to make sure that students know those dangers, too, and become smart users of their computing devices. Your child’s teachers will help in that endeavor. They have been trained to use the right tool at the right time. Sometimes it makes sense to put pen to paper or turn the pages of book, whether those are paper pages or electronic pages. Sometimes it’s important just to listen or to lead in a group discussion. And sometimes it’s essential to use an iPad to find the best answers, synthesize mountains of information and create something dynamic that will help transform our world. We also want to create a level playing field, without digital haves and have-nots. The new program will ensure that every student has the necessary digital tools to aid his or her education and growth.
Will my child’s access to the internet on the iPad be appropriately restricted?
Yes. Whether at the school, or at home, the Safari web browser is configured with filters to prevent access to inappropriate material. However, you are encouraged to monitor your student’s use of the iPad, as you do with any other device such as a television, iPod, radio, or computer.
How will you measure the success of iPad implementation?
Overall student performance in core curricula. Additionally, some applications and programs enable testing and performance monitoring, and will be utilized where appropriate.