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April 19, 2012



Are we being left behind?


Principals welcome electronic devices
'You can have it as long as it doesn't interfere with learning,' they say

Students at Palo Alto High School are encouraged "to use and bring their (electronic) devices" to school, Principal Phil Winston said.

"There is a general policy about electronic equipment that says you can have it on campus as long as it is not distracting or interfering with learning," Winston said.

"With the rapid pace of technology, this is a policy we are hoping to revisit and adjust to what students' worlds are like."

The school has roughly 100 iPads available for student use, and Winston estimated that about 100 of Paly's 1,900 students bring their own laptops or iPads to campus.

"I would say that upwards of 95 to 98 percent of students have a device that allows them to access our wireless network or cell data towers," Winston said.

At Gunn High School, Principal Katya Villalobos said, "Students are allowed to use the laptops, etc., for educational purposes in class and can sign on to students' wireless (network) for the day."

Students may bring phones to school, but "they are inappropriate in the classroom," Villalobos said. Violators have their phones confiscated and sent to the office, where students can pick them up at the end of the day, she said.

"We have many teachers that incorporate students' devices to access the Internet and get information in class. It is a whole new world -- actually it is our students' world -- of consuming and producing information," Villalobos said.


I think you are asking because the BHS policy on these devices is more restrictive, right?


Gotta keep up with those Stanford families at Paly and Gunn!


How about keeping up with the modern world? The article only mentions Palo Alto. Look at the rest of the country!

The last time I looked outside, I was under the shadow of silicon valley. I hear they make and use technology there.


You work at BHS. Why don't you bring it up to your administration if you feel so strongly about it? Speak up, like you are doing on this blog. Why wouldn't you take this to the administration rather than voicing your opionion here. We can't change school policies, but you, as a teacher, can do so. Go for it, keep up with the modern world, and don't forget about those Stanford families in the process!


"We can't change school policy, but you as a teacher can..."

This is backwards.

There are two groups who shape policy in education: employees and parents.

The School Board is responsible to the parents of the community to construct, implement, and evaluate education policy. It is the role of the employees to carry out the policy.

School site policy is based on the implementation of the will of the School Board. The Superintendent serves at the will of the Board and the principals serve at the will of the Superintendent.

Teachers are employees of the district and are responsible to implement the will of the board under the direction of the principal. Teachers negotiate a work contract, but do not have ultimate control over curriculum and policy. The administration controls a management function over the employees.

If you believe that teachers ultimately form school policy it is because that power has been acquiesced by the parents.

Parents have forgotten their role in the system. The Board is elected by the adult constituents of the school district, not the teachers. In fact, a teacher cannot serve on the board!

You would be amazed at what parents can do when they knock on the right door with an issue that makes sense and serves the needs of the students.

The idea of allowing students the right to use technology in the classroom is not new, or limited to the Stanford families.

The countries of Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Ghana are all looking at one to one laptop programs for their students.

Don't leave the education policymaking up to a single group.

While you have my occupation correctly listed, my postings are as a parent and a constituent of the district.


Here is a little more...



So as an employee, take it to the board and/or the administration, if it is something you feel strongly about. Don't wait for "parents" to do so, that is just plain stupid. You could wait forever for parents to join on your bandwagon. In the meantime, do take the bull by the horns.

Account Deleted

Text from Power Point slide available on the District website, from Superintendent's Town Hall meeting/presentation earlier this week:
A Potential Measure to Repair and Upgrade Our Schools

The Board of Education is considering placing a school facilities bond measure on the November 2012 ballot

We cannot rely on the State to repair and upgrade our local schools

The potential bond would cost property owners no more than $30 per $100,000 of their property’s assessed value

All funds will stay in BSD—funds will be controlled locally to repair and upgrade our Burlingame schools

All schools would benefit: Franklin, Hoover, Lincoln, McKinley, Roosevelt and WashingtonElementarySchools and BurlingameIntermediate School

The total amount of the bond would be based on school district needs—which the school board continues to analyze—but would not exceed $56 million

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