The Rock Hill School Board improvement plans include the provision of computers for all students in grades 3-12. The District has provided the answers below to questions posed by the Rock Hill Branch of the National Association of Colored People about previous deployment of digital devices (mostly iPads). These are excellent answers, and I hope they will relieve any concerns about the digital devices which are part of the plan for any funds raised from referendum bond sales. Thank you for these answers to Superintendent Kelly Pew and her staff
- How many children attended the RH schools last year ? 17,553
- Of that group, how many were eligible to take their devices home last year? 6,899
- How many children requested help with fees for computers? 277 last year, 405 this year
- Of the children who requested help, how many met the income and other requirements? We did not check Free/Reduced lunch status, just had them request the scholarship due to family hardship…could be a number of reasons.
- Of the group of children requesting help, how many received assistance-were there any families turned away? No, all received.
- What percentage of children were on free lunch/ reduced lunch last year?57.09
- What is the amount of the fee each child must pay to take device home? It has been $50, but it will be $30 next year
- Does a child who receives a subsidy have to pay any amount or is the entire fee waived? No they do not pay anything
- What are the requirements for a child to be eligible for subsidy?Family hardship, could be a number of reasons
- What are the requirements for a child to receive lunch subsidy? Free and Reduced lunch application based on income, number of family members/children in home….
- Who provides the subsidy? Rock Hill Education Foundation
- How can people donate to help children pay fees? Rock Hill Education Foundation
Have the current tablets improved performance? Early data of students who have used iPads in EOC courses, and others who have used Disovery Tech books show increases in student achievement. We know that the tablets have allowed students to research current information from wherever they are, they have been able to collaborate with others from across the country and nation, they have had access to real-time information- all of this will improve student knowledge.
What measures are being taken to show improvement due to tablets? We review all data (MAP, EOC, PASS) and compare it from year to year. The iPads are one tool used to help improve achievement. Additional resources are also being used- Discovery Tech Books are one example.
What kinds of feedback has we received from teachers, parents, IT? Repair costs are much less than anticipated, students have taken good care of the iPads.
From instructional specialist: Overall, I have noticed that our teachers enjoy having the iPad devices available to use to support best teaching practices. It has truly changed the blended learning environment. The iPad devices in our classrooms have allowed opportunities for digital tools such as Canvas, Discovery Education, and Compass Learning to be implemented in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning in order to increase student achievement. Our students have learned how to efficiently utilize the iPad device when learning and to express their knowledge of curriculum concepts. The iPad devices have definitely impacted the education and leadership of our students at all levels in Rock Hill Schools.
Feedback from Teachers
iPads have opened up a whole new world to students. Not only has it allowed students to conduct research but has allowed student creativity to expand. One of the most important aspects is the differentiation the iPad allows me to deliver to help students be successful on their own level at their own pace. I suppose this would be true with any device and not exclusive to the iPad.
6th Grade Science Teacher
Saluda Trail Middle School 2014-15 Teacher of the Year
Rock Hill School District Honor Roll Teacher of the Year
I honestly cannot ever imagine educating without a learning management system and one to one devices. Students having iPads make differentiating far more plausible and possible for teachers.
8-1 Pre-Algebra and English
8th Grade Assistant Football Coach
7th Grade Girls Basketball Coach
Saluda Trail Middle School
iPads provide easy access to teacher created materials and has greatly reduced lost handouts among middle school students. Within the classroom, students have the opportunity to immediately explore answers to questions that arise and provide an opportunity to expand research skills .
ELA Teacher 6-3
Feedback from Students
SPHS Student Testimonials:
The iPads allow students the opportunity to easily access class notes in class and outside school walls. We are able to conduct research much faster without having to come down to the library. It helps with communication of our ideas and showcasing creativity through a variety of digital resources.
The iPad has been very beneficial for me because it allows me to do my classwork more effectively. Also, it provides me with different digital tools to use in order to produce the best work I possible can. Essentially, I am being introduced to things I will be doing in college. I am excited that I will feel well prepared upon graduation to be successful in college!
The iPad is very helpful with home and school use for my studies. It makes it easier to access needed materials for learning (i.e. techbooks, homework, etc.). I like that I can always find any information that our teachers share with us in programs such as Canvas in order to always feel prepared each day.
What has been learned about how to improve use of tablets?
Professional development is key for our teachers. Ensuring they feel comfortable with the device while also knowing instructional strategies utilizing the device that will improve student engagement and achievement.