Hard to believe, but it’s almost time to send those kids back to school. In fact fee payment days for both SM East and SM North start Wednesday.
This year, of course, heading back to school has a twist since most students in the Shawnee Mission School District are being outfitted with either an Apple laptop or iPad. The deployment of new technology is part of the district-wide initiative in Shawnee Mission that was announced earlier this year.
To get their laptops at SM East, each student is required to attend a deployment session with a parent or guardian. The sessions will be held each night at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The sessions start Aug. 18 for seniors and then each successive night for juniors, sophomores and freshmen. At SM North, the sessions will be on the same nights, but the early session begins at 6 p.m. At East the early session is for students with last names A to M. Last names N to Z will attend the later session. At North the two sessions also are split by last name, but A to L on the first session. SM North highly encourages parents to attend the information sessions and requires that a parent sign the Responsible Usage Policy. Students will get Apple IDs and set up Google accounts as well.
“We want to make sure parents are part of the process from the very beginning,” said SM East Principal John McKinney. Parents and students will meet in the auditorium for a presentation about how the laptops will be integrated, including details about insurance options and damage responsibility, and then the computers will be handed out to students.
McKinney said arrangements will be made to get the devices distributed to students who cannot attend one of the presentation nights, but it will still require the involvement of a parent or guardian. Students may attend one of the other sessions if they are unable to come to their assigned night. Two-student families can come together in one night, but the school would like to keep the attendance spread out among the eight sessions as much as possible.
Also part of the presentation, McKinney said, will be an explanation of Skyward, the new grade reporting and assignment system that allows realtime access for parents and students.
Fee payment days are July 30 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at East and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at North; July 31 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at East and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at North; Aug. 4 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at East. The first day of school for high school freshmen is Aug. 12 and grades 10, 11 and 12 start Aug. 13.