The Donegal School District kicked off the new school year with teachers helping students.
At the school board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 7, Director of Secondary Education Cheryl Champion said the secondary school had a “wonderful start.”
“I saw teachers out and about welcoming the students to their classrooms. I saw, in the junior high, the teachers were … in each space of that building, because those students have lockers to navigate. And if you ever try to do those locks on lockers for the first time — it’s kind of confusing,” Champion said. “But the teachers were there to support the students, help them feel confident and comfortable in their new surroundings.”
She said team-building activities helped students acclimate, and new Spanish and History school books and digital learning tools are now in the hands of students.
It was noted on the meeting agenda that Champion will be resigning her position on Jan. 19.
In technology news, John Bear, director of technology, asked the board if the school district could give Google Chromebooks to the students who are working with them through the 1:1 Initiative.
He said the school district only keeps the devices for four years, because after that, Google will not certify that they will still provide updates or add any new technology.
The first group who would be able to take advantage of keeping their Chromebooks, if the board approves it, would be this year’s sixth- and 10th-graders.
“Our thought being it would also be an incentive for the children to take better care of the device, knowing that if they do take good care of it, they will have a nice device to take,” Bear said.
Bear said there were 3000 Google Chromebooks in circulation last school year. He said the school spent $12,000 fixing damaged ones, and they received slightly more than $12,000 in insurance purchased.
Bear said the students overall take excellent care of the Chromebooks and that breakage on the school floors is the main issue.
He said the second largest problem is that students like to take the devices out of the case. Last year, students voted on their favorite case in an effort to discourage this. The winning case has the school emblem on it and has already been given to students.
However, the Chromebooks are 360 degrees, meaning they can be moved into a tablet position, but must be removed from the case.
Bear said most students bring the Chromebook to their home at the end of the day, but those who want to can leave the Chromebooks on charging carts in the libraries and pick them up the next morning.
Parents are offered $20 insurance when they register their children online for the new school year. There are also forms in the district office that can be returned to obtain the insurance now. Find more information about the Chromebook program online at www2.donegalsd.org/1to1.
It was also announced at the school board meeting that Lancaster County Career and Technology Center now offers driver’s license tests at the Brownstown campus at 231 Snyder Road, Ephrata.
The Department of Transportation pays LCCTC $100 per test, which is the same as the cost of the test. Tests are by appointment only; those who wish to register should call 717-859-5102.
The Donegal school board plans to hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 1055 Koser Road, Mount Joy.