Back to School: Frontier and Union 38

New year features laptops, blizzard bags, and 14 newly hired teachers

  • Recorder Staff/Andy CastilloFrontier Regional School, as seen Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Frontier Regional and Union 38 high school students can look forward to new Chromebooks this coming school year.

The school district is offering new technology initiatives this year, including a one-to-one technology initiative, which will give students the opportunity to have their own laptop to complete school work.

“We’re really excited about this opportunity for our students,” Superintendent Lynn Carey said.

The program was piloted last year for Grades 3 through 8. Students will not have their laptops when school starts Aug. 30. However, the laptops have been ordered and just need to be set up, Carey said. She expects students will receive the laptops within the first month or two of school.

Carey said the purpose is to provide additional collaboration opportunities for all learners. Students will get to work on their creativity and innovation as well as engage in online content. She added the program promotes the development of personalized learning.

The district cafeterias are also implementing a record-keeping program called Meals Plus. The program keeps track of all students’ accounts, showing who owes money and how much money they have in their account. It will make it easier on the school to keep track of finances and paperwork. The eventual hope for the program is that parents can make payments online.

“It will help parents stay on top of finances,” Carey said. “It’ll make things more efficient and give parents more information sooner.”

Another initiative the district is looking into is a blizzard bag alternative for snow days. Carey said a blizzard bag alternative will start after three snow-day cancellations.

While no initiative has been decided, blizzard bag days will require students to complete schoolwork at home. This way, the snow day will count as a school day so students do not have to make them up at the end of the year. A blizzard bag initiative, however, would require adult support, Carey said.

Other new programs for the year include a special education task force to improve the inclusive special education service delivery model, a wellness committee to focus on the connection between exercise and nutrition, and full-day pre-kindergarten and after-school care at all elementary schools.

With 14 newly hired teachers, Carey said she is looking forward to working with other teachers to continue providing the best educational experience for students.