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    August 2020

     

    Dear MBS elementary parent, 

    The last few years of technological advances have brought many changes to Mountain Brook elementary schools. Our teachers and administrators have studied research on 21st century learners in an effort to understand our students’ needs as they learn in the traditional school setting and remotely. Through our process we have determined best practice is not about the device, but rather about the learning.  We believe technology is a tool that can be instrumental in a student’s growth, and facilitate connection, when learning at school or at home.

    As you may be aware, Mountain Brook High School (MBHS) implemented a Technology Bundle for the 2015-2016 school year that provided access to a companion device (Dell touchscreen Chromebook), onsite technology support and repairs, filtering, management, secure Wi-Fi access, and software (Google Apps for Education and Microsoft 365).  MBJH followed by adding a Technology Bundle for 9th grade students in 2016-2017, and for 7th and 8th grade students in 2019. Based on feedback, MBHS and MBJH students continue to report that the addition of Chromebooks to their school day was a major benefit that helped in both their learning and their organization. 

    During this past year we have seen the importance of students having access to Chromebooks at the elementary level. When Mountain Brook Schools moved to eLearning, we issued devices to students due to the overwhelming request for students to have access to school issued Chromebooks at home. Through surveys, parent email, teacher feedback, and focus groups we have received feedback that extending our technology bundle to elementary students this year would be appreciated and beneficial. In addition, providing individual Chromebooks for students will continue to be important as we look for ways to promote student safety by not sharing school materials.

    As a result of our research and conversations, it has been concluded that a Technology Bundle will meet the needs of our elementary students. The Technology Bundle will include a companion device (Dell touchscreen Chromebook), onsite technology support and repairs, filtering, management, secure Wi-Fi access, and software (Google Apps for Education and Microsoft 365).  

    We believe this is a tremendous investment in our students and their educational opportunities.  More so, we are pleased to partner with the Mountain Brook Schools Foundation to decrease the cost of adding companion devices and bring the Technology Bundle to families for only $70 per student per year.  Elementary students will receive devices at the beginning of the school year and will have access to them throughout the school year.  We will continue to communicate with both students and families to provide training on the many benefits that will come from the addition of the Technology Bundle for our elementary students. 

    Depending on the grade level, and situation, devices will either be kept on campus or will go home with the student. 

    • PK - Grades 4: Devices will stay on campus for students and will be charged each night in preparation for the school day. 
    • Grades 5 - 6: Devices will travel home with the student each night. Students will take their assigned Chromebook home with them. It will be the student’s responsibility to charge the device each night. 
    • Virtual Students: Devices will be assigned to students and remain at home with students during virtual learning. 
    • PK - 4th Grade Remote Learning Students: Students will be allowed to use their Chromebook at home while in a remote learning situation. 

    To participate, please click here to submit your payment for the technology bundle and to agree to the Mountain Brook Schools technology device checkout agreement. 

    We are excited to provide this opportunity for your child this year and look forward to a great school year.