Middle School iPad Program

Blessed Sacrament School -- Middle School iPad Program



Welcome to the Blessed Sacrament School 1:1 iPad Program Page. This space has been designed to provide information to parents about the the Middle School 1:1 iPad Program.

 

A Message from Mr. Jim Spillman, Blessed Sacrament School principal

After spending a significant amount of time evaluating different options, speaking with teachers, administrators and instructional technologists from throughout the area, visiting peer schools, and meeting with a steering committee of parents, BSS embarked on a 1:1 iPad initiative for all 6th, 7th and 8th grade students at BSS in September 2014.

We moved swiftly in this direction because the 21st century classroom is rapidly becoming a far more collaborative and interactive environment. Instructional technology will never replace excellent teaching, but it can certainly enhance teaching and learning in profound ways. To date, the iPad has powerfully transformed and expanded the educational environment, become integral to the way students work in courses across the curriculum, and helped to prepare oustudents for educational and life challenges ahead.

A few ways BSS has seen teaching and learning enhanced by the iPad:

  • It has empowered students to become more engaged and active participants in their education.
  • Enabled teachers to inspire their students by designing dynamic and interactive lesson plans.
  • Helped individual students identify his or her own learning style to increase personal productivity.
  • Enhanced the communication and sharing process to promote effective learning groups.
  • Developed skilled, successful technology users.
  • Developed students who demonstrate the most effective, appropriate, and ethical use of technology tools.
  • Provided equal access to technology tools to all students.
  • Facilitated the homework assignment and submission process so that more classroom time is spent on the learning process and helped further reduce paper waste.
  • Increased individual creativity and enthusiasm for learning.
  • Significantly reduced the burden of the “50 lb. Backpack.”

The middle school faculty and I look forward to continuing this exciting program in the years ahead, creating independent and dynamic 21st century learners and leaders. 

Jim Spillman

FAQs about the BSS Middle School iPad Program:

What is the Blessed Sacrament 1:1 iPad Program? 

The iPad is a tablet computing device that is widely used as a platform for educational applications and digital textbooks, offering interactive, web-based resources through a dynamic interface, allowing students and faculty to expand the learning environment. All Blessed Sacrament School students in grades 6, 7 & 8 will be required to lease or own an iPad for use in the classroom at the beginning of the school year to use as a learning tool, to collaborate with students and teachers, to facilitate research, and to receive and submit homework assignments. This is not an optional program.

Why the iPad and not another computing device? 

After much discussion with administrators and faculty from other schools, it became clear that the depth and breadth of educational applications, as well as the support offered by Apple for the K-12 segment, far surpasses any other platform. In addition, the combination of cost, size, portability, the intuitive nature of the device, its proven durability, and its widespread use in the high schools our students will attend all factored into our decision.

Though some schools have adopted a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, we feel that having all students on a single platform will reduce time spent on administrative tasks and allow more time for learning. We believe that this consistency is particularly important for our middle school students.

Do we need to buy an iPad or can we lease an iPad through the school?

 Blessed Sacrament School strongly recommends utilizing the iPad lease option being provided through the school. We have worked out an affordable iPad leasing option which will be available to all families. The cost of the lease includes a dedicated Apple iPad assigned to each student, loaded with all the necessary apps and digital textbooks students will need for the school year. The lease price also includes insurance through Apple Care +. The Apple iPads will be distributed in August at a BSS iPad Orientation meeting.

What does the iPad lease cost, and what will it include?

The iPad lease will cost families $250 each year. This cost includes the use of an individually dedicated iPad for the entire school year, insurance through Apple Care+, and all necessary apps and digital textbooks. This cost will be added directly to each family’s tuition bill, and integrated into the tuition payment plan that has been selected. To date, over 90% of our families have participated in the iPad lease program.

Can we purchase our own iPad? 

You can purchase your own iPad from any reseller, including local Apple stores or the online Apple store, as long as it meets the minimum standards for Blessed Sacrament School integration. All iPads support WiFi and will be able to access the Blessed Sacrament wireless network. If you purchase a 3G/4G iPad, students will be required to disable the 3G/4G connection while at Blessed Sacrament. If you are purchasing an iPad for your child, it is highly recommended that you not purchase the 3G/4G capabilities or plan. The use of a personal iPad device will fall under the same guidelines as school-issued iPads.

Students who purchase their own iPads will be responsible for the additional purchase and acquisition of all required digital textbooks and apps by the beginning of the school year in September.  

We already own an iPad; can we use our family iPad? 

Yes, as long as your iPad meets the minimum requirements described above and is a dedicated iPad for your child. The iPad will be required to be used by the students daily at Blessed Sacrament and at home for homework and studying. In this case, a “family” iPad would have to be designated for exclusive use to the student. For families with multiple Middle School children, each child will need to have a dedicated iPad.

Can we use other devices, such as Kindle Fire, or other tablets? 

Due to the standardization of apps, textbooks, and integration into Blessed Sacrament’s infrastructure and classrooms, only the Apple iPad with retina display can be accepted.

Is there financial aid for the iPad lease? 

Please contact Jim Spillman directly with any financial concerns or questions. We are committed to working with all families to ensure that all students have access to these devices at a reasonable price.

Is there anything else we need to purchase with the iPad? 

Blessed Sacrament School requires that you purchase a protective case to protect your child’s iPad from accidental damage. 

Students may also choose to buy a case with a keyboard, or to purchase a wireless keyboard as a separate accessory. A keyboard, however, is not required.

What about insurance for the iPad? 

The leased iPad option includes Apple Care + insurance (a great value). In addition to providing coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage ($50 service fee for each incident), AppleCare+ also includes software and technical support. Visit AppleCare+ for more details.  For purchased iPads, Blessed Sacrament strongly recommends that you purchase AppleCare+.

What will the school do if my child’s iPad is damaged or stolen? 

Each student is responsible for his/her iPad. As with any personal item of value, students are encouraged to responsibly store and safely travel with their iPad to avoid damage or theft. It is strongly recommended that you purchase a rugged protective case and Apple Care+ insurance coverage to help cover the cost of an unrecoverable or damaged iPad.

We will provide some assistance and will have a few iPads for loan for students to use while theirs are being repaired or replaced.

Will this device distract my child from doing his work? 

Undoubtedly, students can be distracted by what they can do with the device. The iPad makes it easy for a student to surf the internet, check email, play a game, read a book for another class, etc. We will work with the students on developing self-discipline and in making the right choices when in class and when they are doing homework. These are critical skills that they will continue to use and develop throughout their educational career.

Will the school block my child from using certain apps or websites? 

Blessed Sacrament will continue to filter web content available to the students through the Blessed Sacrament wireless network. Parents are urged to contact their internet provider for ways to filter content and websites from your home internet.

One of the additional advantages of leasing the iPad devices through the school is that the school can then have full control over the content being downloaded onto the iPads. This will help us greatly as we strive to create an appropriate learning environment for our students.

What are the students' responsibilities? 

Each student will be responsible for bringing a fully-charged iPad to school each day, and for abiding by the Blessed Sacrament Student iPad Use Policy.

What happens if there are technical problems with the iPad? 

For software support, our middle school teachers and the Director of Instructional Technology will work with students. For hardware issues, it will be the student’s responsibility to submit their iPad for service via AppleCare + at a local Apple store.

Can families opt-out of using the iPad program? 

No. Participation in the Blessed Sacrament School Middle School 1:1 iPad program is a requirement of enrollment.





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