As the start of school approaches, I find myself even more excited than usual about the new school year. Of course, this will be a special year. We are rolling out around 1,500 student laptops this fall for the first time. The preparation has been a really daunting, but fun experience. With the planning nearly complete, we are now ready to start sharing, in earnest, some of the details about how this rollout will work.
We will be hosting two informational meetings on the evenings of Monday, August 6th, and Thursday, August 9th in the Prairie High School Concert Hall. The meetings will run from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. This meeting is a great opportunity for parents and students to get specific questions answered, turn in the Student Laptop Agreement Form, and to get some great deals/services from some local vendors.
I realize that two hours is a significant time commitment. But, we’ve designed the meeting to not require the full two hours for all families. An informational presentation will start the meeting. When that’s done, attendees will have a chance to browse vendors, ask specific questions to the Prairie Admin team (Mark Gronemeyer PHS Principal; Greg Leytem, Prairie Point Principal;John Speer, Superintendent, or me), and to complete/turn in the Student Laptop Agreement Acknowledgement form. It is important for parents to realize that no laptops will be given to students until this form is signed and returned. This form can be found on our website and it was sent home with registration materials for all 9-12 grade students. These meetings will be a great opportunity for families to get this done.
I’m also thrilled that we’ve had such great support from the community as well. We have several groups and businesses that have stepped up to support this initiative. The Apple Store at Kirkwood will have a selection of care and accessory products available for purchase. The Cedar Rapids Public Library will be on hand to distribute library cards and share information on their available services. Sprint Wireless has developed a discounted “College Community wireless data plan.” South Slope will also be on site to share their home Internet service packages.
Earlier this month, we mailed out Digital Learning at Prairie to know about our digital literacy program and to promote these information meetings. I would ask all of our staff and any parents who run across this post to share this information with other parents to help get the word out about these meetings.