Friday, November 19, 2010
Laptop Program leads to 44.4% drop in Discipline
The first trimester under our new schedule, house system and one to one apple macbook laptop program are now history. It has certainly been an adventure for our staff, students, and families but the results are very interesting. One of the most surprising features has been a large drop in discipline referrals. Detentions are down 44.4% over last year for the same number of weeks. With our later start time of 8:30 AM tardies are down 30% and school absences are down 30%.
We expected the decrease in tardies and the increase in attendance but we are left scratching our heads a bit with the decrease in discipline referrals. There were no major reclassifications of offenses in the handbook. Our theory we've been kicking around the hallways and lounge has been tied to the ability of effective technology integration to lead to a more engaged learning environment. When the default setting switches from students as passive learners (sitting and listening) to that of an active learner (creating, collaborating, sharing) school becomes a more enjoyable and authentic experience. Appropriate technology use leads to a richer more stimulating learning environment.
Our staff continues to work through the process of effective technology integration. Our professional development continues and our early success seems to be encouraging more creativity with our staff. We've learned a number of things along the way and will have some new strategies in place for the start of the winter trimester in terms of moderating some of the potential distractions the laptops can cause. We plan to keep supporting our teachers and providing them with all the professional development they need to excel in this enhanced setting.
All in all as we enter fall break we are happy to see the number of changes implemented this year producing solid results. We're proud of our students ability to thrive in this new environment. We'll continue to do our best to work on the problems that arise and provide our students with the best learning environment for the 21st century.