By Karen Billing
Come the first day of school on Aug. 27, the Rancho Santa Fe School District will be entering a new era of technology with iPads in the hands of every middle school student. As the district has to take extra steps to ensure the new technology is taken care of, at its Aug. 9 meeting the board looked at a new set of rules for the use of the ipad that will be approved in September and will act as a contract signed by students and parents.
Board President Jim Depolo said the rules are “pretty specific” and it is made clear that the iPads are to be used for educational purposes only.
Trustee Marti Ritto asked about the rule that the ipads are not to be carried in students’ book bags as they can contain food, liquid and heavy or sharp objects that could damage the device.
“Is that realistic?” Ritto asked.
Superintendent Lindy Delaney said that they have to “assume the most care” to ensure that their investment is protected. Assistant Superintendent Cindy Schaub said she has seen many helpful tips from districts that have instituted school-wide ipads, such as using extra large freezer bags to transport the devices. Those tips will be distributed to students and parents.
The summer has been a busy one technology-wise as the district also purchased 70 new computer monitors for teachers, 170 new student computer monitors, Apple TVs for all of the classrooms, iPads for all of the teachers and an additional six iPads in each K-6 classroom and 10 for special education.
Two optional iPad training sessions have been held for teachers, this summer with 22 teachers attending.
“They were excited, obviously nervous but the feedback was the training made them more relaxed and feeling good about coming back,” Schaub said.