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ROSEMOUNT, Minn. — Shortly after the school year begins in September, each student in grades 7, 8 and 9 will be issued a district-owned iPad Mini to use as a tool for their learning at school and home.

This is the first year of a three-year rollout of the district’s learning and technology vision to provide a dynamic learning experience with 1:1 access for all students in grades 4-12. Grades 10, 11 and 12 will be added in fall 2017, followed by grades 4, 5 and 6 in fall 2018. Students in pre-K to grade 3 will also have increased access to technology in their classrooms, but not at a 1:1 ratio.

“As adults, we use technology every day to access information, work with others and complete tasks at work and home,” said Director of Teaching and Learning Steve Troen. “That’s the college- and career-ready world we are preparing our students to enter after graduation. To be ready, they need to be using technology to access and analyze information, to collaborate and communicate with their classmates, and to problem-solve, innovate and create.” Students will also learn digital citizenship skills on how to use technology safely and appropriately.

Funding for 1:1 access comes from the $5 million per year, 10-year capital project levy that was part of the November 2015 referendum question approved by district voters.

There is no cost for students to participate, but families may choose to purchase an optional protection plan offered by the district for $20 per year. If purchased, the plan covers the cost of repair and replacement of the iPad if not purposely damaged or lost. Theft is covered with a police report. All district-owned devices can be tracked and disabled to reduce the likelihood of theft. If stolen, the iPad will continue to report to the district’s management server if/when it is connected to Wi-Fi. Once that happens, the district is able to request the GPS location of the device.

The district will manage the iPads with Apple ID accounts created for each student when they receive their device. These accounts cannot be used in Apple’s App or iTunes stores. Students will be able to choose apps in the District 196 app store, which offers age-appropriate, instructional apps only. In addition, web filtering that occurs in school will also be in place outside of school, regardless of where the device connects to Wi-Fi.

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