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Should Brick Students Be Given Laptops?

School board promotes one-to-one laptop program

In a tech-heavy society, with a tech-heavy job market, Brick students should go to school in a tech-heavy environment, some Board of Education members said this week.

Board member Larry Reid promoted a one-to-one laptop initiative at the school board's pre-agenda meeting Wednesday night, saying top school districts in the state and across the country are issuing laptop computers to students to help them excel at computer applications that will prepare them for college and the business world.

"I think it's something that's required to get a good job," Reid said. "I think if we want to prepare Brick students to enter the job market with the proper tools, we have to have a one-to-one computer initiative."

Reid and several other board members attended a recent workshop where leaders of the Springfield and Pascack Valley school districts in North Jersey were on hand to give presentations about their laptop programs. Reid said officials from those districts said their students were more prepared for advanced studies once they went off to college, and the program made the school districts more attractive regionally.

"Every superintendent said the same thing: if you're not involved with technology in your classroom, you're not getting the maximum return," said board member John Talty, who also attended the presentation.

Board member Len Cuppari said the program is expensive, but worth it.

"I endorse it, but it is expensive," said Cuppari. "There are a lot of things to consider, but I agree with everyone here that we have to move in the direction of technology."

Reid said most districts that issue laptops to students lease computers from a vendor, with Apple being the "vendor of choice" for most districts. Most of the districts that have launched one-to-one laptop programs have started the programs in the middle school grades, then expanded to the high school grades, then to the lower grades. Some districts have used iPads for lower grades and traditional laptops for upper grades, he said. Reid said network infrastructure would have to be built before such a program could be implemented.

Board President Sharon Kight said issues such as security and warranties for the computers are not issues in other districts.

"They have it down to a science," Kight said. "They have all those kinks worked out."

Brick school officials will travel to the Pascack Valley district in Bergen County Dec. 8 to check out their program first-hand. Talty said the board is seeking public input from the community on whether issuing laptops – which could eliminate the need for some physical textbooks – would be a good idea for Brick.

"Hopefully, we'll get some input from the public as to what they're looking for," Talty said.

BW November 12, 2011 at 02:17 PM
mrpipp, which BOE member are you? You may be rich, but the rest of us are struggling to pay our property taxes as it is. If you want every kid in Brick to have a lap top, YOU BUY IT FOR THEM!
mrpipp November 12, 2011 at 02:30 PM
I'm not on the board and I am certainly not rich. I said if it is monetarily unrealistic then I understand. That doesn't mean that the board can not look into it and get the facts. In years to come every district will have laptops for all students. It's just the way education is moving. Remember, 10 years ago classrooms had no lcd projectors, smartboards, document cameras and only a few computers. This is certainly not the case today. Technology is changing the field of education! I don't know when it will happen, but I guarantee every student will have their own laptop in the future.... it's inevitable.
concerned citizen November 12, 2011 at 02:47 PM
I just settled this argument! I looked it up and ex president Bush and now president Obama never had a laptop when they went to school, and look what a fine job they both did!!!!LoL
Mark Story Jenks November 12, 2011 at 04:56 PM
If this were to come about it would be nice if the laptops or whatever could be manufactured in the United States from parts manufactured in the USA. I figure it will take no time at all for someone here to make a sarcastic comment in regards to that idea.
joseph November 12, 2011 at 06:47 PM
For those who are not in favor of laptops for our students, I'd like to clarify a few issues. First and foremost, I heard at the BOE meeting that the BOE was looking into improving the infrastructure to support technology that is coming whether you like it or not. If you participated or understood anything going on right now, you'd know this is the FIRST BOE to actually spend money fixing our schools. Multiple projects have been approved and should start shortly. Money is actually appropriated for future projects. This BOE actually does their homework and prioritizes the repairs to be made. I heard Science labs, heating and cooling, lights, windows at the last meeting. So what is the problem with the silly people on this site???? I guess they just like to spread misinformation. If you watch channel B20, and watched the BOE meetings you'd know that laptops for students have insurance and waivers built in. Get with the future and let's give our children the best education we can. Students cannot bring their laptops from home because they will not work with the infrastructure that will be in place and can bring viruses and will not be able to be controlled by school staff. These laptops will be programmed for school work only. No facebook, ect. We aren't creating the wheel here. Many advanced school districts have done this. As far as paying for it, we can budget for it a little at a time. I heard middle school first, then onto hs when we can.
BW November 12, 2011 at 06:57 PM
Joseph do you have teenagers? Why do I ask? Because even if they are programmed for school work only, it takes the aerage teenager less then 5 minutes to break thru the fire wall and reprogram it.
RCL67 November 12, 2011 at 07:52 PM
you would need 3 adults in each classroom - 1 to teach and the other 2 to walk around and make sure the kids aren't up on Facebook or playing games
WheresTheBallot November 12, 2011 at 08:04 PM
If they implement something that causes our taxes to go up "whether you like it or not", they will be voted out just like the town council. The idea may have merits, but their is no money to implement it right now.
Concerned Brick Citizen November 12, 2011 at 10:40 PM
The more I think about it. The parents or students should easily be able to afford a laptop, unless they can prove otherwise via some program that proves they cannot financially pay for one. Who pays for the children’s cell phone plan? -- Easily $50 plus per month. Children are running around with these all the time. Many parents purchase a car for their children to drive back and forth to school. How much is the insurance, registration, gas and maintenance? Where do the children/students get the money to purchase energy drinks, gourmet coffee, expensive designer cloths, cigarettes, liquor and drugs? Yet they can afford a $500 laptop which should last a few years? The tax payers should put out for the e-text books which should save money versus hard text book. However there should be no excuse regarding purchasing a laptop for their children. For school work you don’t need a computer with the expensive gaming/video card and all the other bells and whistles. You just need a computer for typing text/office programs and reading a text book. – Nothing more. In fact some laptops which do basic functions start around $350. A lot less expensive than an energy drink, cigarettes and gourmet coffee, etc. per school day. – I think budgetary priorities need to be taught in at home and in school. -- Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed them for life…
Support-The-Future November 12, 2011 at 11:16 PM
I agree that parents should be able to afford the laptops (or tablets). A lot of these types of programs depend on the free-lunch program to determine who the school should pay for and who should pay on their own. But, Again, A lot of upgrades and renovations are needed in the schools in order to make this work.
Stinger November 12, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Wow, Money just burns a hole in their pocket. Of course it's not their money. In two years the laptops will be obsolete. In five laptops will be obsolete.
RealityCheck November 13, 2011 at 01:22 PM
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RealityCheck November 13, 2011 at 01:37 PM
Wow! A lot of making things up in these comments! Maybe you need to reread the article! This school district has a budget of more than $135 million and can do whatever they want with it. It is the administrators, who have these nearly $200,000/year packages AND LIVE IN OTHER TOWNS who choose to spend the money on bogus contracts for their pals. What are we up to now, 83% of the school budget going to salaries and benefits? Read the article on the latest contract the super and business adminstrator put up at the last meeting without even showing the attorney first! I am happy to see members of this current board trying to put a stop to things like that and redirect money to actually go to the kids. The laptop idea (schools that do this usually have them stay in the school on a laptop cart that keeps them charged, etc.) would be great if they lease (as they mentioned) so you can always have updated technology. Enough with the status quo and let's get moving to make our kids have a chance out there in the real world. They are competing with kids from other districts that actually educate and prepare their kids for college and jobs. Thank you to the BOE members who are clearly trying to use the school budget more for the kids and less for fat-cat administrators personal employment agency!
Regina November 14, 2011 at 12:54 PM
I say YES there are MANY schools in the area who have been using laptops for many years now we are so far behind the times, just like block schedualing alot of residents were against it and look what a GREAT outcome that has been let the educators help make the desicions we as parents don't know it all they are trying to better our children not hold them back ............ wake up !!
TAX PAYER November 14, 2011 at 09:45 PM
Here is a way af getting some of the funds needed...Remove the assistant to the business manager. The salary we pay him is based on a full time person not a part time one. . He doesn't need and assistant making BIG money and bennies
TAX PAYER November 14, 2011 at 09:48 PM
See here is a current student telling you that the idea will fail .COME ON MAN wake up
concerned citizen November 15, 2011 at 12:23 AM
HELL NO!!!!!!
Dawn Marie White November 15, 2011 at 12:38 AM
For those of you against kids advancing and learning with technology here is a video you can chew on for a while.....http://youtu.be/ehDAP1OQ9Zw
BW November 15, 2011 at 12:45 AM
Dawn what part of, my taxes went up almost 2500 in the last 2 years, and I am broke and cant afford to pay any more do you not understand? Tell you what , why dont you donate your commisions for the next 2 years and pay for them. I CANNOT AFFORD MY TAXES NOW and you want me to pay more.
Dawn Marie White November 15, 2011 at 01:00 AM
Providing information is the business I am in. Did anyone say your taxes were going to go up if the school issued laptops. Is that what the article said? NO ! Did you know there are grants available to subsidize some of these programs? Get the right info before you make statements that are close minded. PS... I live here too for 35 years in fact.... and my taxes went up too...... Improvements need to be made in the buildings and in the quality of education. The current board seems to be educating themselves as to the programs that are successful in other areas. Look before you leap... Educate before you speak.....
mrpipp November 15, 2011 at 01:35 AM
Well said... I agree the current board is at least exploring opportunities to update the technology in the schools. As for taxes, I can not comprehend how the voters approved a referendum that raised taxes 20% or so and they once again rejected the school budget. It makes things that much more difficult to keep up in the with times. It was a very reasonable budget last year. The school budget is rejected every year, yet everyone constantly complains bout Brick schools.... very contradicting.......
Taxed to death November 15, 2011 at 01:54 AM
The question asked on this forum regarding giving laptops to students is not one that should be asked to anyone other than the parents of the students in question. Educations should not be funded through property taxes, sales and income taxes should be used. Many people in Brick own homes, and have never had children. These same people might have lawns, and may be in need of a lawn mower... so if you can find a need for the people without children to provide laptops to the students.... perhaps you can find a reason for the people with children to provide lawnmowers for those without children. A better idea might be to make all schools private, and let the parents decide what is best for their children.
BW November 15, 2011 at 01:58 AM
Hate burst your bubble Dawn, but in the last 30 years the BOE (no matter who is on it) has not done anything for our schools, unless they raised the taxes. I learned a long time ago to read between the lines. The money set aside n the capitol projects account, is for the repair on the schools, which they have been putting off for the last 40 years. If they want to do this, I want to see them get rid of enough admin positions to cover the cost. Why do they need an assistant to aid the assistant. Cut positions to fund this project.
Dawn Marie White November 16, 2011 at 12:51 AM
I do not disagree with you on administration cuts. This is a problem statewide and the N.J.E.A. knows it. Ridiculousness is all I can say. As far as technology, I do and will always support technology advancement for our kids.
Support-The-Future November 16, 2011 at 02:23 AM
Dawn... The Administrators are NOT part of the NJEA.
Support-The-Future November 16, 2011 at 02:26 AM
It is not just getting the laptops... You have to re-write every curriculum. you have to update the electrical systems in the schools (there has to be a place to plug the laptops in to recharge the batteries... you can not depend on students to charge their laptops overnight). You have to add a lot of wireless access points in each school so their are no dead zones (and they have to be able to handle at least 200 to 300 connections at a time). You have to 'rent' the e-books which, after 2 to 3 years, costs a lot more then buying books that last 10 years. Lots of cost involved.
Support-The-Future November 16, 2011 at 02:31 AM
Please research how a school budget is designed. It uses the zero-base budget system. The budget increases as each cost item is added until you arive at the budget. The process involves a lot of decisions along the way. There is no 'surplus' in the 135mil. they do not just have millions laying around waiting to be used. All the money is spoken for and is spent over the course of the school year for the budget items voted. At the end of the school year, if there is an excess for any reason, the excess, by law, has to be used to reduce the taxes in the next years budget.
Dawn Marie White November 16, 2011 at 02:39 AM
No but N.J.E.A. Has allot to do with the guidelines that are set as to administrator per teacher ratio.
Support-The-Future November 16, 2011 at 04:14 AM
Dawn, you are seriously misinformed... The NJEA does not determine teacher-to-administrator ratios. These are determined by the individual school systems (the Board of Education) and/or in some cases the state may mandate an administrator. The NJEA advocates only for teachers.
Tom Cular September 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Where do you think grant money and funds from the fed and state comes from ? Wake up and smell the coffee .

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