POLL: Did Little Silver Put Laptops Into the Wrong Hands?
One Little Silver mom disagrees with the district's decision to start one-to-one computing with the fourth grade.
Yasmine Laverne made it perfectly clear at last week's Little Silver Board of Education meeting that she agreed with the district's push to foster 21st Century learning for students and one-to-one computing.
What she disagreed with was the decision to begin equipping students with laptops in the fourth grade. Patch reported last week that the district purchased 206 Dell netbooks, one for each fourth and fifth grade student, which will move with them each year through graduation.
Laverne said at the Oct. 11 board meeting that it was the older students who should have received the computers. "I really think you sold short the seventh and eighth graders in our district," she said to the board and superintendent.
She reasoned that the older students would be more responsible handling the technology and would miss out on the one-to-one opportunity.
"Those students deserve the same preparedness," Laverne, who has a sixth grade daughter, said. "It just seems taxes and grants benefit the younger grades."
But starting the cycle with the fourth grade "made logistical sense," according to Little Silver School Superintendent Carolyn Kossack, given the netbooks' five-year warranties.
The superintendent said that recent technology purchases for the district -- a laptop cart for the sixth grade last year and two for the seventh and eighth grades this year -- have shown a disparity towards Markham classrooms.
"There's always going to be a time when someone's not going to reap the benefits," Kossack said.
Laverne told Patch while leaving the meeting that she appreciated and respected the work the board and Kossack do for the district, but felt it was better to come and tell them her concerns rather than complaining to other parents.