Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 5:59 am | Overcast 64º


High School Students in Santa Maria Going ‘High Tec’ with New Tablets

Students of the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District will go “High Tec” this week with Dell Venue Pro tablets.

On Tuesday, administrators at Pioneer Valley, Ernest Righetti and Santa Maria high schools distributed about 5,400 tablets, which are equipped with Absolute Computrace Software, a tracking device.

“Technology and Internet resources are indispensable tools for the modern learner,’’ Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction John Davis said. “We are excited to provide a new level of access and opportunity for our students.’’

Letters about the deployment and Student Tablet Use Policy have been sent to parents and guardians. The insurance and "digital citizenship" forms were given to the students to take home. Site principals also made "all-call” recordings to student homes and parent and guardian cell phone numbers.

According to Director of Information Systems Lawrence Dragan, district IT technicians will be available to answer questions students may have, and technical support services are planned during the year.

The lion’s share of the student tablets was paid for by Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) funds, though about $200,000 came from from Common Core funds. The total cost is about $2.2 million, according to Yolanda Ortiz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services.

Next year, incoming freshman will receive about 2,000 of the tablets as part of the distribution cycle.

In January, teachers were issued the same new technology to familiarize themselves with the basic functionality, to investigate possible classroom applications and to engage in professional development.

—Kenny Klein is a public information officer for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >