Update on student iPads for 2015-16
Student iPads for the 2015-16 School Year
Posted on 06/10/2015

The following message was mailed in June to all families with students currently in grades 4-7 (grades 5-8 in 2015-16) who will be attending Friendly Hills Middle School this fall.

The district-wide EmPowerED initiative will integrate technology into classrooms that will allow teachers at all schools to personalize learning and prepare our students for college and/or careers in the 21st century. The plan has three key parts; ensure high-quality professional development for staff, transform curriculum and instruction, and implement devices for students. The timeline and approach in these areas will vary by school and grade.

Starting in fall 2015, Friendly Hills Middle School will begin its shift to a digital learning environment (electronic textbooks, web-based curriculum, a robust WIFI network, etc.) which will create the need for students to use a device in and outside of school to access course content, complete homework, collaborate and communicate with classmates, conduct research and more.

Please know this does not mean that all class content will be digital or that students will use a device throughout their entire day. Technology will be used when appropriate and teachers will continue to also use traditional instructional methods and ask students to complete assignments or projects using tools other than a computer.

The device used at both district middle schools will be a school-owned iPad. An iPad will be assigned to each student at Friendly Hills next fall.

Our plan is to conduct a comprehensive roll out of the devices at the end of September that includes information for students and parents regarding:

  • Proper care and maintenance of the iPad
  • Expectations for appropriate use of the device
  • Device set-up instructions and an overview of basic operations
  • And more
To prepare for next year, the District’s technology office has begun creating Apple ID accounts for all Friendly Hills students. Notification emails are being sent to each student’s district email address. The Apple IDs will be necessary to access educational apps and classroom materials through an iPad next year. Over the summer the technology department will also be working on our building’s infrastructure (switches, WIFI, etc.) to prepare for the iPads next fall.

Further details will be sent home at the start of the 2015-16 school year. There is nothing families need to do yet this spring or over the summer. If you have any questions before next fall, however, please visit www.isd197.org/empowered. You may also call 651-403-7005 or email empowered@isd197.org.