Elizabeth Forward sets ground rules for iPads
Elizabeth Forward School District is laying down the ground rules for iPads that students will get next month.
“It's not about iPads,” district director of technology Mary Beth Wiseman told the school board at its committee of the whole meeting on Wednesday. “It's about learning and how iPads can change that learning and enhance it.”
Elizabeth Forward is obtaining the iPads under a leasing agreement with Apple that will cost the district no more than $550,000 a year.
Students in all schools will receive iPads, beginning with the high school Oct. 7-10.
In order to assure that all the bugs are worked out in the high school distribution, schedules for other schools have been pushed back.
Students in Elizabeth Forward Middle School will get their iPads Oct. 21-23, then distribution will happen at Central, Greenock, Mt. Vernon and William Penn elementary schools Oct. 28-30.
Each student will be assessed a $20 fee for a fund to cover what could happen to an iPad over the next two years. In answer to school director Dr. Robert Rhoderick Jr., Wiseman said each iPad costs $499.
“Use of any school-owned equipment is a responsibility, not a right,” said a computer-generated display Wiseman was controlling with her iPad.
“We want to teach kids digital responsibility,” Superintendent Bart Rocco said. “We have a job as responsible adults, too, as educators, teachers and parents, to monitor and regulate (that use).”
That includes making sure children spend time doing other things, Solicitor Matt Racunas said. “There are times when I have to pull my kids off an app and tell them to go out and play,”
Director of finance and operations Richard Fantauzzi said the board will consider a timeline for a 2014-15 budget at its regular meeting next week.
He said the district will have to meet a Jan. 30 deadline for passing an Act 1 resolution.
That is the notice to the state Department of Education that a district will not raise taxes higher than the index determined under state Act 1. Fantauzzi said preliminary indications point to a 3 percent index, or an increase of $490,000 in local tax income.
Because of Allegheny County reassessment and this year's Act 1 index of 2.4 percent, the tax rate was lowered from 25.0118 mills in 2011-12 to 20.6797 mills in 2012-13.
That represents a revenue-neutral rate of 20.6052 mills plus 0.745 mills to cover the Act 1 index. The district anticipated netting $15.2 million in property tax for 2012-13.
If preliminary indications hold up, Elizabeth Forward could raise taxes in 2014-15 to approximately 21.3 mills.
Assistant Superintendent Todd Keruskin reported on the changes coming because of Pennsylvania's “No Child Left Behind” waiver, including “building level scores” that will be handed out by the state Department of Education, possibly on Tuesday.
Keruskin said those scores will be based only in part on “indicators of academic achievement” such as the Keystone Exams and Pennsylvania System of School Assessment scores that measured adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind.
He reported that the Dream Factory learning space at the middle school continues to get help from Carnegie Mellon University and California University of Pennsylvania. He said it is being funded with $20,000 from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and $10,000 from the Sprout Fund.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport Area students share views during Black History Month panel talk
- White Oak seeks funds to stabilize road
- Duquesne Elementary School students join the ranks of junior constables
- Munhall resident pleads guilty but mentally ill for killing his mother
- Steel Valley to post teacher, administrator salaries online
- McKeesport incident among derailments that prompt Casey to push ‘crude-by-rail’ rule
- Public comment policy varies in Mon Valley school districts
- Clairton City School District seeks savings in food service management
- Police don’t believe recent McKeesport shootings are connected
- Elizabeth Forward budget ‘healthy’; makeup days added in March
- Allegheny County Airport set for $4M sidewalk, parking lot upgrade