Northland Middle School Students Return to School with Laptops in Hand

Contact Information: Michelle McDaniel, Director of Communications and Marketing 7019 North Cherry Gladstone, MO 64118 michelle.mcdaniel@oakhilldayschool.org www.oakhilldayschool.org 816-436-6228

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (September 19, 2013)

Northland Middle School Students Return to School with Laptops in Hand

GLADSTONE, MO— Oakhill Day School Middle School students added one more item to their school supply list this fall – a laptop. Announced last winter, Oakhill Day School officially launched their Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) program in August.

Students at Oakhill have been utilizing laptops in their technology classes since 2008 when 20 donated laptops replaced the computer lab which was destroyed by a tornado. Additional construction the following year brought more laptops dedicated for Preschool through Kindergarten use. Within 3 years, Oakhill added an additional 50 laptops. In the meantime, students in the Lower and Middle School continued to expand their technology skills through a rigorous curriculum with an emphasis on web 2.0 tools and sites.

According to Bernadette Roche, Director of Technology, “It is evident that students greatly benefit from having access to a laptop throughout the learning day, not just during a set technology class. Our BYOL program is an organic extension of what is already occurring regularly in classrooms.”

Oakhill administrators and teachers made a conscious decision when requiring laptops. “Our research indicated that students who had tablets still desired a laptop for more advanced technology work,” says Amie Robertson, Middle School Math teacher. “There are certain programs that we use in class, such as computer programming, computer aided design, mobile app design, and advanced movie making, that just can’t be done without a laptop,” explains eighth grader Evan Morris.

Oakhill made a significant investment in upgrading the network infrastructure to support BYOL including a wireless network upgrade, server virtualization, improved anti-virus and web filtering, and the construction of the Panther Power Place, a tech lounge designed for students to recharge laptops and access necessary digital resources. Middle School teachers continue to expand their professional development through workshops and conferences focusing on laptop integration.

Roche states, “Our objective in launching this program is to promote greater independence, increased academic engagement and a higher level of skill development for all our students. Our goal is to prepare our students to compete, connect, and collaborate as an ethical citizen in a global society.”

Interview opportunities of children will be allowed. Photos available upon request. For more information regarding Oakhill visit www.oakhilldayschool.org or call (816) 436-6228. After-hours, please contact Michelle McDaniel, Director of Communications and Marketing at (816) 645-9589.

Oakhill Day School is the Northland’s premier, private, non-sectarian school for children Toddler (age two) through eighth grade. Oakhill provides excellence in education through child-centered learning in a supportive, challenging, and rewarding environment that provides students with self-confidence, values, knowledge, and the foundation for leadership through emotional, physical, and social development. www.oakhilldayschool.org

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