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Schools consider use of electronic devices

| Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

Franklin Regional School District has developed a policy for students to bring their own electronic devices to school.

The school board could vote on the proposal this month.

Brad Schrecengost, district supervisor of technology services, presented the guidelines to the board on Monday. He said he hopes the BYOD program can “go live” after the new year.

“I think we have a pretty strong policy at this point,” he said.

The plan addresses expectations for appropriate use of personally owned electronic devices that students can bring to school to aid in classroom learning.

“Personally owned devices are permitted for use during the school day for educational purposes and/or in approved locations only,” the policy states.

Guidelines designate use of student-owned devices as a “privilege.” Students must connect to the district's content-filtered wireless network and would not be allowed to record audio or video or take pictures without permission. Students using devices not connected to the district network could face disciplinary action.

Students will be responsible for their devices and would use them when permitted for educational purposes during class, the policy states.

The district will provide computers for students who don't have access to their own device.

“I'm a big fan of we try it and we deal with the repercussions,” Director Joe Seymour said.

The policy and potential disciplinary action will have to be explained to the students, director Dennis Irvine said.

“These kids have to learn to be responsible and take care of themselves,” said director Herb Yingling.

In addition, the board discussed renovating the Heritage Elementary cafeteria and kitchen. Two architectural firms are being considered and the board could award a contract this month.

Dennis Majewski, director of district services, said upgrades are needed to better meet the height requirements of elementary-age students as well as update kitchen equipment. The school at one time served seventh- through 12th-graders after its opening in 1955.

Food is not prepared in the school, but rather brought in from the middle school, he said. A lot of the kitchen equipment dates to the 1950s.

“There's a variety of issues in that kitchen,” Majewski told the board.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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