Personalized Learning FAQs

  • What is Personalized Learning (formerly PLI)?

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    Personalized Learning is the name of the long-term effort underway in Columbia Heights Public Schools to make sure that each and every one of our students are prepared to thrive today and excel tomorrow in an ever-changing global society. As a part of our Personalized Learning experience, we will commit to providing 1:1 devices for each student in 4th through 9th grades in the 2016/17 school year and expanding to 3rd through 11th grades by 2018/19 school year. At its core, the overriding goal of Personalized Learning is to provide a world-class and personalized student learning experience.

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  • Why is Personalized Learning important?

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    Personalized Learning goes far beyond just giving students 1:1 tablets...it is about putting the world in their hands. It's a learning initiative aimed at providing all students with personalized learning experiences that stimulate creativity and imagination. We want students to experience, connect and interact with the world in ways that traditional textbooks and curriculum alone can't provide.

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  • What device will be assigned to my student?

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    Throughout the life of the Personalized Learning in Columbia Heights Public Schools, we have researched, tested and implemented a variety of devices in order to meet the needs of our students and teachers. The district considers cost, limitations, available applications, and management to determine the optimal device for our students. At this time, your student in 4th-12th grade have an Acer Chromebook assigned to them.

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  • My student already has a device at home. Will he/she be able to use that one?

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    At this time we require that students use the district provided device in order to ensure that the correct apps and settings are being used.

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  • Will students get to keep their devices over the summer?

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    No, students are required to check-in their devices at the end of each school year.

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  • Can students take their assigned device home on the weekend?

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    Grades 3-5: Not at this time. We will store the devices at school and they will be ready to use when you need them for learning!

    Grades 6-12: Yes. The device is being provided by the district for use on your school work at school and at home, including the weekends.

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  • Will the student have to pay for his or her device if it damaged, lost, or stolen?

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    Yes. Families are responsible for the device if it’s lost, damaged, or stolen. The device is a district-issued item, similar to a textbook—if a textbook is lost or damaged, the responsible student must pay a fee to the school. The district offers a group insurance option on the devices. This is for grades 6-12 for the 18-19 school year.

    9th-12th Grade High School English/9th-12th Grade High School Spanish

    6th-8th Grade Columbia Academy English/6th-8th Grade Columbia Academy Spanish

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  • Are there rules about what students can and cannot access on their assigned device?

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    Yes. The school district has a content filter that restricts access, both in school and out, to certain categories of websites that are unsafe or not useful for school. No matter if students are in school or out, they should only be going to websites that they wouldn’t mind a parent or teacher seeing. Additionally, students have signed a written agreement that shows they understand that the school-provided technology is for educational purposes and that they will not use it for purposes restricted by the district. See the technology responsible use agreement form for more details.

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  • Does the student device come with any sort of cover?

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    For grades 6-8, a padded binder is being provided to carry the device in and for grades 9-11, a rugged cover is being provided. It is required to keep this cover on the device at all times to protect it.

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  • Will the student device work at home?

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    Yes. As long as you have an wireless internet connection at home. Chromebooks are web-based devices so they need the wifi to complete most tasks. 8th grade tablets should also work at home.

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  • What if students lose their charger or damage their device?

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    Chromebook: The chargers cost $11.00 to replace for students in 7-8th grade and 10-12th grade. Chargers for 6th and 9th grade are $32.00. Students can purchase one at the Office (CHHS) or in the main office (CA).

     

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  • What do students do if their device is having trouble and they need to get it fixed?

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    There are designated  times in each school when help desk staff will be available for helping students with their devices.  Though the techs will likely also be available during the school day, the office will not be staffed the entire day as techs do need to go out to classroom for other work order during the day as well.

    At Columbia Academy, the tech office is open for students between 8:30 and 9:30 am, as well as during STAR. Students need a pass to visit the tech office.

    At Columbia Heights High School, the tech office is open between 7:45 and 8:15 am, 11:00 and 12:00, as well as during advisory.

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  • What if the students does not want the device? Do they have to take it?

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    Yes. Just like a textbook, the school is providing a resource for learning and it will be expected that the student keeps it in good condition and use it for class.

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  • Can students charge their device at school?

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    Yes. There will be times when it will be OK to charge their device at school. However, students should be charging it every night. If they do that, it will have enough battery to last the whole school day without needing to be charged again. The Chromebooks should have at least 10 hours of battery life. Students should not assume that they will always be allowed or able to charge their device at school. Charging in class is up to teacher discretion and students are expected to arrive for class with a charged device.

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  • Can students use their device during free time in class or at school?

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    That’s up to the individual teacher to give the options for device use once students have finished their classwork, then it’s ok. Students’ devices should NOT be out during lunch.

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  • What if a parent does not want their child to bring a device home?

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    Each secondary  student in grades 6-11 will be issued a personal device for use at school. Similar to issuing a textbook, we issue devices to students because we believe they are critical tools for learning. However, we respect a parent’s right to choose what comes into their home. In the event that a parent does not wish to allow their student to bring a device home, the following will need to be developed:

    A plan for how the student will complete any technology-dependent school work outside of class. Possible solutions may include using after school homework club time, or providing a family-owned device at home for the student to use on assignments. Solutions will not include teachers providing paper copies of assignments for students.

    A plan for how a student will pick up and return the device each day, since they will be expected to bring their device to class for in-class work.

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  • What is expected of students?

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    Each day students are expected to bring their fully-charged tablet to school in working order. Students are expected to manage their device in a way that minimizes the likelihood of damage, loss or theft.

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  • What if students forget to bring the device to school?

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    If students fail to bring their device to school, they will be responsible for completing course work as though they had their device with them.

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  • What is the cost to families?

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    There is no cost to families for the tablet unless it is damaged, destroyed or stolen. Optional insurance is available for purchase if desired.

    9th-12th Grade High School English/9th-12th Grade High School Spanish

    6th-8th Grade Columbia Academy English/6th-8th Grade Columbia Academy Spanish

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  • Do I have to buy any apps?

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    No. The district will purchase all necessary apps for students.

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  • Can students install their own apps?

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    No. At this time, all apps and updates will be provided and installed by the technology department.

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  • What if my student has special needs such as a disability? How do I ensure accommodations are made?

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    Parents/guardians of students who have a disability should work with their student's IEP manager and/or Section 504 coordinator to determine what if any accommodations are needed when using their device.

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  • When will students get their device?

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    Devices will be gradually rolled out during the first few weeks of school.

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  • Who can I contact if I have questions?

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    Contact Director of Technology, Security, and Building Operations Bryan Hennekens at 763-528-4479 or HennekeB@colheights.k12.mn.us.

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