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School Trustees Discuss At-Home Computer Policy

July 19, 2011

The first reading of the policy for the netbook computer program I.M.P.A.C.T. was given Monday to the West Point School Board of Trustees by Chris Carter, Information Technology director for the school district.
Created by Carter, the policy for I.M.P.A.C.T., Inspiring and Motivating, Performance, Achievement and Creativity through Technology, will give administrators, teachers, students and parents the guidelines that students must follow when they take these netbooks home to do research, complete assignments or do other school-related work. Carter went over the policy before the board decides on approving the policy during their next board meeting.
Carter said the purpose for the I.M.P.A.C.T. program is to allow seniors at West Point High School to have access at home and in the classroom to 21st Century technology that gives them the needed tools to advance in today's global and highly-technical market. The program aims to “increase students' motivation and technology proficiency, improve writing skills, assist in test preparation, gain broad access to online educational resources, teach web ethics and introduce more critical thinking and reasoning for students at the WPSD.”
In order for students to be able to take these netbooks home beginning this fall, parents or guardians will have to attend the I.M.P.A.C.T Orientation, sign the policy and pay a $50.00 usage fee. The date, place and time of the orientation will be announced at a later date. No netbooks will be issued to students who do not have a parent or guardian with them at orientation.
Some responsibilities and liabilities of students and parents are that they are financially accountable for any damages or losses caused by negligence or misuse of the netbook, and they must notify law enforcement and the school staff immediately if the netbook is stolen or vandalized. Parents or guardians are responsible for ensuring that students view age-appropriate material on the netbooks, and all computers can be monitored for inappropriate sites or content.
The at-home netbook program is funded by E2T2 grants. Carter said students who will not be able to pay the $50 fee to take the netbooks home will still have access to netbooks in the classroom. The $50 fee allows the Information Technology Department to offer the best possible technology for students.
Revisions could be made before the second reading of the policy, and once final revisions are made, the board is likely approve the policy.

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