FAQ

What are the goals of the Garnet Valley Future Ready Initiative and how will be measured?

Our goals are as follows:

  • Transformed teaching and learning, guided by the SAMR framework as measured by classroom walkthroughs, observations, surveys and other sources.
  • Increased occurrences of higher-level thinking, guided by Webb’s Depths of Knowledge (DOK) as measured by classroom walkthroughs, observations, surveys and other sources.
  • Increased opportunities for all students to benefit from online and blended learning opportunities in all content areas including courses/content developed by Garnet Valley faculty.
  • Increase opportunities for all students to develop and practice literacies that provide readiness for college and career in our interconnected world.

Why does every student need a personal device?

Today’s learners live in a dynamic, technology-rich world where they are creators, producers, researchers and thinkers. In order to fully engage with our students, the educational environment must mirror the world in which our students live now and will navigate in the future. Providing a personal computing device for every student K-12 will help create dynamic learning experiences for students and teachers. Students are more engaged in their learning with technology and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to prepare them for success in higher education and the work force.

Who can I contact if I have questions about Garnet Valley PYOD Initiative?

Students and parents/guardians should contact Mr. Samuel Mormando, Garnet Valley Education Center at 610-579-7350. If you have questions about technology policies please contact Dr. Vincent Citarelli, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at 610-579-7387.

Will students be able to take devices home with them?

All students in the High School will have the opportunity to use the device in school and at home. All devices are a classroom educational resource much like the calculator, textbook and paper resources were in the 20th century. We cannot expect our students to continue their learning or work without giving them access to the tools they need to work. Elementary and Middle School students will have access to a digital device in school. Devices will remain in school, stored in secure carts after school hours.

Will students have to purchase a device bag or case?

All devices have a rubber "bumper" surrounding the outside edges of the device, however, it is recommended that students purchase a case or device bag for an additional level of safety. Be sure to purchase the correct case for the device. The Garnet Valley leased devices are:

  • Dell Chromebook 11 (3120) and Dell Chromebook 11 (3180) with the 180° hinge

Chromebook Specifications

  • Device Covers and Cases. There are several different options and price points for device covers. Please choose the option that best fits your needs and budget.
  • Please be sure whichever cover or case you choose, it will fit the Dell Chromebook 11 with the 180° hinge

Will students be able to use their devices on the school bus?

No. Use of devices on the school bus is a safety hazard and not permitted.

Will GVSD provide maintenance on the leased device?

Yes. The Technology Department and computer technicians will coordinate and provide maintenance on all leased student devices.

What about students who already have a laptop at home?

An important component of the Garnet Valley PYOD Initiative is the equal access to technology resources for all students. Any student who wishes to bring their own device to school, may choose to do so, as long as the device fits the following requirements:

  • Students bringing in their own devices are still accountable for their use and must follow the Acceptable Use of Internet, devices and Network Resources Policy. Most of the considerations and care of the device listed in this Handbook may also be applicable to BYOD and are generally recognized as good computing habits.
  • All devices must have installed and up-to-date virus protection.
  • All devices must have a keyboard.

What happens if the device is lost or stolen?

All devices will be self-insured by the District. The insurance premium is $50 per student ($100 cap per family) with a $50 deductible for damage and a $150 deductible for theft or loss. The deductible is charged for each incident and is in addition to the lease fee. Our district is committed to ensuring that no student will be denied instructional technology because of a financial hardship, therefore we will offer financial help when needed. Families who participate in this program will still be required to pay the deductible of $50 for each damaged claim and $150 for each theft or loss claim. For more information or to apply for financial assistance, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/hrnk84q

What is the procedure if a device needs repair?

The Computer Technician and Technology Support Personnel will be responsible for the repair of student devices. It is the responsibility of students to contact the Technology Support Office when requesting repairs.

What will students do without a device if it is being repaired?

There will be a limited number of devices for loan while a repair is being completed.

If the power cord/charger is lost or stolen, how much will it cost to replace?

In the event the power cord/charger is lost or stolen, the student must report the occurrence to the Technology Support Office. The current cost to replace the charger is $25. For ease of tracking, the serial number of each power cord has been recorded for each student. When using the power cord/charger in school, students should take care to secure the cord when finished.

What will students do with their device during Physical Education classes, lunch and after school activities?

Students are responsible for the care and security of the device. It is highly recommended that students purchase a protective covering or case. When possible, devices should be locked in lockers when not in use. Students should not store the device in a car for any extended length of time, particularly in hot or cold weather. If a device is left in a locked car for a short period of time, it should never be visible. It should be locked in the trunk of the car.

How will appropriate use of digital devices be monitored at school and at home?

Although students are personally responsible for the use of the device and the District computer network, the District does use filtering software designed to protect students from obscene material, pornography and other visual depictions deemed harmful to minors (as defined by the Children’s Internet Protection Act – CIPA) when accessing the Internet through the District network. When not on campus, the student devices will not be filtered through the District Network. Parents/guardians are advised to always monitor web usage when the device is used at home.

What are the consequences for inappropriate use?

Student use of any device is governed by School Board Policies:

Misuse or inappropriate use or treatment of any school-owned digital device or any accessories will result in discipline as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

Will students have access to Microsoft Office software?

No. Students and teachers will be using Google Apps for Education(GAFE) as their productivity suite – Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawing, and Forms. Students and faculty have had access to these tools for several years.

Will students be able to install Apps and/or Extensions?

Yes. Installing free Apps and/or Extensions is permitted, however, all Apps and/or Extensions must be school appropriate. Students who violate the policy will be disciplined according to the Student Code of Conduct as outlined in the Student Handbook.

Will secondary students be able to use the device on their home wifi?

If parents have a home network, students can connect the device to the network through Wifi (wireless network). Parents are responsible for monitoring student Internet usage at home. Parents are advised to learn about and make use of any appropriate parental controls available through the home Internet Service Provider (ISP). Parent workshops are offered throughout the year, including information on how to track Internet history. Internet access at home is optional and not required. Student devices are also able to connect to the Internet using open wireless networks in the community. However, these are inherently less secure and activity cannot be easily monitored. Additionally, Google Apps work offline. Parents should determine appropriate use of open wireless networks with their student(s).

What if students do not have internet access at home?

Google Apps work offline, however, the District has compiled a list of local businesses/organizations offering open wireless access. To view this list, please visit http://tinyurl.com/hgxemea

Will there be training for students?

Students have been using laptop computers, Chromebooks, NetBooks, and iPads in each grade level for several years. Students are familiar with many different devices and operating systems and programs. Teachers will provide assistance, if necessary, into lessons so that students feel comfortable creating projects and communicating with classmates using the devices. Students are also encouraged to collaborate with their peers and access resources on the internet to learn more about a particular device.

How will students save work they create on their device?

All work should be completed and saved on Google Drive. It is the student’s responsibility to regularly back-up critical files. The District assumes no responsibility for lost work due to device issues such as a hard drive crash. Students must remember to back-up critical work frequently! Students may also consider using personal back-up devices such as thumb drives or external hard drives. Remember: Students are responsible for their own data back-up!

Will students be provided with an email address?

Yes. Student will have access to email through their Google Apps for Education (GAFE) account and the garnetvalley.org domain. All students have accessed email through Google Apps in previous school years. All students received login and password information previously. Those new to Google Apps can learn more about email and all the available Google apps by visiting our Google Apps for Education (GAFE) page at http://tinyurl.com/junkb3j

Can a student use their own accessories with the device?

Yes. The device is equipped with two USB ports and HDMI connection.

Do students need to have a printer at home?

Students do not need to own a printer since print services will be available in various locations throughout the school. Students may set up their home printer to work with the device. However, depending on the printer brand and age, it may or may not work. Remember, all students can share files electronically with teachers and fellow students through Google Drive.

Can students use the device over the summer?

No, not at this time. All student devices will be collected at the end of the school year for general maintenance, cleaning, and software installation. The summer process provides for all operating system and software upgrades in order to stay current with the latest software offerings. Students and parents/guardians will be informed of summer collection procedures near the end of each school year.

Will all teachers be expected to use the technology with students?

All staff have a laptop computer and the training to support its use as a learning tool. It is also important to realize that some subjects lend themselves more to use of technology than others. As the initiative develops, the District recognizes that teachers will develop new strategies and skills to best determine when and how to use technology. The expectation is not to use the device as often as possible, but to use it when it improves learning. The District expects to see increased appropriate use from both teachers and students. Teachers and administrators will continue to participate in professional development to further develop an understanding of effective use of technology in teaching and learning.

How will the Garnet Valley PYOD Initiative be evaluated?

Many different instruments (surveys; classroom observations; focus groups with teachers, students, principals and parents; classroom walkthroughs) will be used to collect data. Data will be regularly analyzed to determine the effectiveness of implementation and progress toward the goals of the Garnet Valley Future Ready Initiative.

Will a student have the same device while they move to the next grade?

Yes. Student devices will be collected at the end of each school year for required service and re-imaging. Students will receive the same device at the start of the following school year.