Not every one of the nearly 24,000 students in Manteca Unified had a digital device in their hands on the first day of school.
But that didn’t last long.
As a reflection of how expectations of the district’s digital initiative have grown since the initial rollout several years ago, several parents out of the gate expressed concern that their child was without a device Monday.
But unlike in past years there are sufficient devices and loaners available.
The smattering of students without devices was due to what Manteca Unified Deputy Superintendent Roger Goatcher, who is in charge of educational services, described as “glitches.”
uOne cart of devices had been overlooked at an elementary campus when the Windows 10 update was being done over the summer.
uSome new students to the district had yet to take the mandatory device orientation and Internet citizenship test required before they are allowed to use a school-issued device.
uA substantial number of high school students did not go to orientation last week meaning they did not pick up their devices before school started on Monday.
The last point is significant given it is district policy that students be issued the same device each year including charging cords.
“It is a way of instilling a sense of ownership especially knowing they will be using the same device in subsequent years,” Goatcher said. “Knowing they will have it for (more than one school year) they take better care of the devices.”
One high school campus had nearly 230 seniors, juniors, and sophomores that had not picked up their devices prior to Monday. With one on-site digital support technician and the process taking five minutes a student to make sure the devices are properly issued, Goatcher said it is likely not all of the high school students received their devices on Monday.
Goatcher noted the district doesn’t require teachers to use devices on the first day of class.
He said some teachers will use the first day to get to know the students as well as outline what is expected of them for that semester’s work. He added that teachers are unlikely to issue homework on the first day meaning if a student didn’t have a device he would not fall behind.
Over the summer the district upgraded more than 15,000 devices to Windows 10. That means more than 26,000 devices from those in students’ hands to teachers are now on the same operating system.
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