R-1 laptop meeting for parents Tues.

Monday, April 22, 2013

By DONNA FARLEY

Staff Writer

The Poplar Bluff School District will hold on Tuesday the second of three meetings designed to inform parents about a program that will provide a laptop next year to every junior high student.

Two sessions will be held, one at 5:30 and one at 7 p.m., at Kay Porter Theatre on the high school campus. Parents of next year's seventh grade class have been invited, as well as any other community member interested in more information.

A third meeting, open to the public, will be held May 2 and follow the same format.

"Everyone knows we're putting technology in the students' hands and we want them to know why and how it's changing curriculum," said Superintendent Chris Hon.

Information also will include the logistics of how the laptops will be handed out and discussion of insurance plans.

R-I is providing the laptop and a special backpack to each of the junior high's more than 800 students. Parents will be required to purchase insurance for the technology, with help available based on need.

Parents and students will be required to attend special training at the beginning of the next school year to receive the laptops.

"If we're allowing students to take the technology home, we want to make sure both students and parents are committed to it," said Hon.

This will be a significant change from the type of classroom setting parents are used to, enabling teachers to personalize lessons for each child, he continued. Because it is such an important change, the district wants parents to have as much information as possible.

About 50 people attended an earlier meeting, with parents questioning how to protect the equipment during extra curricular activities and practices, as well as what the insurance policies will cover.

Parents also asked what classes would look like after the digital transformation and if students would work on their own, or under teacher direction. Hon said the new program will allow teachers to move around the room, working with students who are at different levels in lessons.

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