Students entering Grade 6
Grade 6 is an exciting year for York School students. It is the first year of Middle School and the first formal year of our one-to-one laptop programme. To ensure a smooth transition into our academic programme, all Grade 6 students will be provided with a school-owned Chromebook computer to use throughout the year. Students will be responsible for their Chromebook both at home and at school and will be taught how to use it to support all aspects of their learning. This will provide them with the habits and skills to smoothly transition to our student-owned laptop programme in Grade 7. We will communicate directly with Grade 6 families about how they can pick up their school managed ChromebookStudents entering Grade 7 & 8
For our Department of Learning, Innovation and Technology, the events of the past year have brought clearly into focus the importance of supporting a student’s learning both in and out of the classroom. We have worked closely with our classroom teachers, learning specialists, wellness team and students to ensure everyone not only has the best tools for learning at their disposal, but that they are supported and trained on the devices and platforms that we use.
When the global pandemic was declared just over a year ago and we entered the first lockdown here in Toronto, our team knew we had to be innovative in our thinking. We knew we needed to simplify things for our students, for our teachers and for ourselves. When taking stock of systems and technology that would best support learning during a hybrid model of in-person and remote teaching, the Chromebook emerged as a reliable and safe option. Historically available only to our Grade 6 students, we quickly pivoted to extend our school-owned program to include our Grade 7 classes for the 2020-21 academic year as well.
The Chromebook is an ideal device for this age and stage, similar to a bike with training wheels but for middle schoolers. It is easy to use and can be managed and supported remotely by the school IT Team, particularly helpful during times of remote learning. Teachers are able to monitor learning both in and out of the classroom, and students are able to be more focused on a device that does not enable chats that can interface with their phones.
Based on the data and feedback we’ve collected from students, parents, teachers and IT staff, we are pleased to announce that we will be extending this programme to include all students in Grade 6 to Grade 8.
The Middle School years are typically a time of great growth for students and supporting them with a school-owned Chromebook gives them an opportunity to learn how to be responsible for a device while having a positive impact on their learning experience. It also means that families will not be required to provide a student-owned laptop until their child enters the Senior School in Grade 9.