We are pleased to announce the mid-course correction in our iPad program for the 2017-2018 school year. We appreciate the input from our survey, the academic committee of our school board, and our ad hoc technology committee. Your input helped guide the changes described below.


Why are we making a mid-course correction in our iPad program?

New teaching and learning programs may over time and through experience prove to be incomplete and in need of correction. We find that to be true with the mandated use of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) iPads. It is time now for a mid-course correction. We’ve built our action plan upon your detailed and thoughtful responses to the recent survey prepared by the academic committee of the school board, as well as input from an ad hoc technology committee composed of faculty, parents, central office staff, the school board’s technology and strategic planning committees, and the full school board. We coded and cataloged the responses, and our analysis concluded that the administration did an insufficient job of providing proper system controls on student use of the devices, compounded by a lack of professional development for faculty and proper use guidelines for students.

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What problems did the surveys and input sessions identify?

The surveys and input sessions identified two major areas of concern.

  1. Lack of management software to control student use of iPads in school
  2. Lack of sufficient professional development for teachers

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What is the plan for the next school year (2017-2018)?

Going forward into the 2017-2018 school year, East Catholic will discontinue the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program and instead utilize school-leased, standard-spec, iPad devices controlled by school-based management software. We will provide the following:

  • intense and on-going professional development for faculty
  • parent information sessions on iPad use in early September as part of our back-to-school program
  • increased student/teacher engagement
  • reduced student distractions caused by inappropriate use of technology

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What are my options for next year?

In order to transition from the BYOD program, we will offer two device options.

  1. Option 1: Lease the device from the school for $225.00, which includes insurance from breakage and theft.
  2. Option 2: Use your current device for $45.00. This option does not include insurance and theft protection, and will allow you to use only the school approved and installed apps.

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I just bought an iPad last year, why do I have to lease another one?

Unfortunately, individually purchased iPads have different specifications and do not display pages in an identical format. For example, page 131 in one iPad is not the same as page 131 in another. Standardizing on the specs if the only way to get around this problem. It is possible to completely wipe your device and then use it for school. However, it is possible to undo the wipe, which renders the iPad unusable again at ECHS, so we do not recommend this option.

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What are the school-approved apps?

The apps will be educational and selected for their alignment with East Catholic’s academic program. The list is under development, and we will post it soon. The school-approved apps will reside on our server and we will downloaded them to student apps.

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What does the $225 option cover?

This option covers the entire cost of a leased device, including case and keyboard, management software, insurance for theft and breakage, and personnel costs associated with the iPad program.

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What does the $45 option cover?

The $45 fee covers the costs of personnel associated with the iPad program and the cost of the management software.

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Will we be able to load other apps on the device?

Only school-approved apps will be able to download on the device.

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Who will perform the required task of wiping/re-configuring the iPads owned personally?

Trained ECHS personnel will perform the wiping/re-configuring task. It will be necessary for families to save photos and other files to the iCloud prior to this operation. We will provide detailed information on preparation.

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What management control system will the school use next year?

East Catholic will use either JAMF or ZuluDesk for device control. Apple endorses both programs and provides the ability to control specific options on individual devices like airdrop, Bluetooth, and camera.

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How will the upcoming billing reflect my option?

We will add either option to your FACTS billing and spread out payments according to the plan you select.

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I thought that teachers had total control on iPads now, so why are we going to a leased system?

Our experience was that teachers did not have control over student iPads. The NetRef system that we utilized this year does not have sufficient capability to control the device. This is why we need to move to a more robust device manager.

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When must I decide on a choice of option 1 or option 2?

We need you to decide as soon as possible. We will initially charge every family the $225 fee. If a family chooses option 2, we will apply a credit for $180 on the following month to their account.

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