Opinion: Incline High School 1:1 program has been discussed at length
Due to the complexities of this issue, as well as the accusations Incline resident John Eppolito brings forth in an opinion column, the Bonanza sought to fact check portions of Mr. Eppolito’s comments with the Washoe County School District. The following is a statement provided from the district’s administration staff; the Bonanza is choosing to publish it in its entirety (after light edits) in an effort to provide both sides to this issue.
In regards to (the April 29 meeting), the meeting was not private. It was a Boosters Board meeting. The board invited WCSD leadership to discuss the 1:1 initiative among other topics of concern to the Board. Yes, all of the admin personnel … mentioned (Superintendent Traci Davis, Deputy Superintendent Kristen McNeill, Area Superintendent JoEtta Gonzales and Incline High School Principal Leslie Hermann) were invited and attended the meeting, along with other District personnel.
The program has been discussed at length with the staff and parents. Twenty of our 27 teachers and other staff members, including administration, attended a CUE (Computer Using Educators) Conference in the fall of last year and were unanimous in their support of integrating more technology in the school, as well as adopting a 1:1 program.
Parents were surveyed as part of our accreditation process this last year, and one of their major concerns was a lack of technology in the school. Technology and the 1:1 program have been discussed at almost every board meeting over the last two years. There is only one parent that we are aware of that is opposed, and he has never attended a board meeting.
A committee composed of parents, teachers and students was created this year to establish protocols, procedures and protections regarding the 1:1 program. It is important to note that the program is optional. Students will not be compelled to participate. They must opt in.
The Boosters have been raising funds explicitly for technology and a 1:1 program at the annual crab feed for the last two years, raising over $300,000 in donations from parents, teachers and community members specifically for this program.
All software that the teachers will use will be vetted to ensure compliance with the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA), a California law that is the most stringent in the country at this point, to ensure student data is protected. Edmodo is SOPIPA compliant, and teachers have been using Edmodo in WCSD for several years.
Edmodo is not a student data mining tool, but rather an instructional tool. A major component of SOPIPA states that any software application cannot create student profiles or share or sell student data. Again, Edmodo is SOPIPA compliant.
Again, it’s important to remember that this program is an opt-in program. Parents must be in favor of their child receiving a school issued device. Students whose parents do not wish for their child to participate 1:1 will be given differentiated assignments that ensure their mastery of the curriculum.
Leslie Hermann has spent a good deal of time this summer researching Digital Citizenship Curricula, and found one through Common Sense Media that we will be using. Our 1:1 rollout will require all students to complete a comprehensive DC program before being issued a device.
Every effort has been made to ensure security and privacy. Leslie attended the ISTE conference and focused … sessions on security and privacy. She is researching single sign-on options that require a log-in from the teacher only. Students access digital lessons once the teacher issues them a password.
Her efforts are a direct result of collaboration with the tech committee, whose members have asked questions and discussed their concerns.
This statement was provided by the Washoe County School District. Visit washoeschools.net to learn more.
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