February 1, 2013
Our Mission Statement guides us in all that we do, and it calls on us to provide our young women “a challenging college-preparatory education in a vibrant learning environment.” One of the most innovative and fast evolving platforms for learning, communicating and creating connections outside of our immediate geography is the mobile technology device. St. Mary’s Academy is very excited to announce the introduction of our 1:1 computing program beginning in the 2013-14 schooler. Each student will be provided an iPad as part of the St. Mary’s educational program. We strongly believe, as confirmed through our research, that the iPad is the best device for our educational setting. St. Mary’s 1:1 Program will prepare our young women with the skills and tools for their university experiences and for their career futures. (Why iPads)
Every year we receive feedback from parents, students and alums that our St. Mary’s faculty is remarkable in their focused support of students as they grow as learners. They involve students in lessons, projects and papers that nurture the development of their critical thinking and analysis skills. We hear that our young women become confident presenters of their thoughts and ideas in classroom discussions and debates. This will all be accentuated by adding iPads to the repertoire of instructional tools that our teachers access. However, the iPad is not a panacea for all educational issues; it is simply a tool. We remain firm in our belief that the most essential bridge to learning is our faculty.
This past year, our teachers have been preparing to integrate these devices into their lesson plans. Additionally we increased bandwidth and made significant improvements to our server and wireless network to handle the increased traffic. In preparation for this move, we have included a Frequently Asked Questions page on our website to offer more information about the basics of this program. Please look under the Tech @ SMA menu tab.
As in any process that involves change, we know that there will be unanticipated challenges, bumps in the road, blind curves, smooth down-hill stretches and a few uphill climbs. However, we are excited by the journey. We are blessed to have a faculty that can embrace this technology and see it as an avenue to advance student learning. Please read through the links in this letter for more answers to your questions. We will add more resources and provide more details for our program in the months to come.
Please feel free to email questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for sharing our excitement as we unfold this vital new program.
Christina Friedhoff Patricia Barr Alena Kelly Sr. Linda Patrick Lisa Gray