Beginning this year, all EPHS students will be assigned a Chromebook, an internet-connected device that will be their primary portal into the District's new curriculum of electronic texts and interactive learning.
"This is what moving forward looks like," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicolas Wade the day after the freshman event.
"There was palpable excitement to everyone last night. I had a number of parents come up and tell me they were excited and anxious to see where this 1:1 goes for the students.
"In fact," he continued, "there were quite a few families who said they never had a computer before, and I do not believe there can be anything more meaningful to what we do than knowing the kind of impact we just made on them."
A Busy Week
Chromebook pickups will continue through the rest of this week.
Sophomores and juniors received their devices Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, respectively, in the school library. Seniors are scheduled to pick up theirs from 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday, also in the library.
Students who miss their designated date may come in from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, to get their device.
To receive a Chromebook, students must turn in signed copies of the District's Acceptable Use Policy Contract and Photo Release Consent Form. Both forms must be signed by the student and a parent/guardian.
In addition, students must be enrolled for the 2018-19 school year, which includes establishing proof of residency.
A Thriving Initiative
The arrival of 1:1 computing at EPHS was the product of several years of careful planning and preparation, beginning with the Board of Education's formal approval of the District Technology Initiative in the spring of 2016.
The IT Department implemented a districtwide multi-year professional development program at the start of 2016-17. Focusing on Google's G Suite in Education, the training introduced faculty and staff to best practices in a technology-rich environment.
At the same time, the Technology Department under Mr. Tom Kinane established the network and hardware infrastructure necessary for the initiative to thrive.
But the introduction of 1:1 at EPHS is not the culmination of the District's plans for technology; far from it.
This year more devices will become available at the middle and elementary school levels, and interactive e-texts will be used throughout the District's curriculum. Next year 1:1 will expand to Elm Middle School, with each 7th and 8th grader receiving a Chromebook.
A Memorable Launch
But for now, the spotlight is on the high school.
Some 245 families came out for Monday evening's inaugural distribution of 1:1 devices. Despite the large numbers, everyone eagerly awaited their turn.
Ms. Iovinelli described the lines as "Disney-style" as she recalled the excitement in the air.
"Students were wide-eyed and enthusiastic as they were handed a Chromebook, case and charger while parents expressed support for where the District was headed in terms of educating their children and preparing them for the future," she said.
"After so many years, weeks, days, hours and minutes of planning, it was very rewarding to see the dream start to come true for the District, but more importantly, for our students."
Photos from Monday's Chromebook Pickup
The following photos were taken at the Aug. 6 freshman Chromebook pickup in the high school's LGI Room. D401 photos by web/media specialist Dave Porreca (click images for larger view).