Dear Middle School and Upper School Families,
As we begin a new school year, we want to remind you of how technology is used across the grades. In the primary school, we believe in limiting screen time for students. They have access to laptops, iPads and a smartboard in each classroom for use when appropriate, but we promote hands-on and experiential learning during those developmental years.
Starting in fourth grade and continuing through sixth grade, students are assigned a Chromebook. We label each Chromebook and they keep those devices for their three years of middle school. Students are expected to maintain them and follow our ‘responsible use’ policy, which they sign at the start of each school year. These Chromebooks are required to stay at school. Each student has a location on a charging cart. Students are responsible for plugging them in at the end of the day so they are fully charged in the morning.
In Upper School, we have a Bring Your Own Device policy. Students are required to bring their own device to and from school each day. Bringing their own device eases the transition between home and school and provides the opportunity for students to build responsibility. Students have shared that bringing their own device leads to better organization and increased responsibility, and they have developed stronger habits managing their own materials. If this policy presents a problem for your family, please reach out as soon as possible. Please note that iPads and cell phones are not appropriate for the work students engage in.
Students utilize their devices throughout the day, some days and classes, more than others. Students are often researching a variety of topics, be it for an English paper, a science concept, or the history of their foreign language. Students also regularly use google docs to draft papers and projects. This allows the teacher to track their edit history and see their writing progress. It also lets teachers give real time feedback in class to help strengthen a student’s content and craft.
When your child brings their own device to school each day, here is some information to consider:
- Any brand device is acceptable. Chromebooks are more affordable and tend to endure more wear and tear from students; Dell or Apple laptops have a wider range of capabilities and are also common.
- Students are responsible for charging their own device. The device should be fully charged each morning.
- Students will be granted access to the TPS wireless network. Our internet access is limited, and certain websites and search words are restricted. Further, we will be working digital citizenship into our advisory and wellness programs to help all students learn how to safely navigate the internet.
- Our responsible use policy is still in place and will be discussed with students and parents in the fall.
- Students are required to put their name on the exterior of the device as many of them appear similar. We have a label maker at school and will provide a label for your child if you would like us to.
- Cell phones will continue to be restricted throughout the day.
We welcome your feedback. As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments about this policy or anything to do with your student or our school, we encourage you to reach out.
Stuart Johnson and Serena Mueller