Lincoln enlists parents in technology

PLYMOUTH — The one-to-one computer program at Plymouth’s Lincoln Junior High had a successful beginning a year ago, and along with all the lessons it taught it also pointed out something to administrators.
“We had a parents focus group in January and one of the things that kept surfacing was the comment that ‘my kids know more about the computer than I do,’” said Lincoln Principal Dan Funston. “Parents also had a concern that their kids were using the computers properly. The kids would tell their parents that they weren’t doing anything they shouldn’t but their parents wanted more than a letter home outlining it, they wanted to hear it from the horses mouth.
“Honestly there was a lot to manage with the program last year in its first year and we should have done more to inform the parents. That’s what we’re doing now. It’s a partnership and keeping parents engaged with what’s going on is essential to what we want to achieve.”
A step in enlisting parents in the process is a series of information sessions that are being held at the junior high. Amy Gerard has made the move from Riverside to Lincoln to head up the program, and Funston gives her high marks.
“Amy coming over here from Riverside has really made a big difference,” he said. “She’s put this whole thing together. I give her all the credit.”
Sessions started at 8 a.m. on Thursday with a later session at 6 p.m. and continued Friday at noon and will be Tuesday at 5 p.m.
The one-to-one computer program will enter its second year at Lincoln with Plymouth High School starting its program this year. Riverside is slated to be the next Plymouth school to have one-to-one computers.
“Last year, it was a little bit of a novelty for us,” said Funston. “This year the novelty has worn off and we’ll be more focused on using the computers for reading, writing and math — the things that they are supposed to be used for.”
While Funston says that students were very good and taking care of their computers, they have a little more incentive to do so this time around.
“The kids did well last year,” said Funston. “This year the policy is a little different it will be $50 for the first time their computer breaks and $100 after that. It’s pretty much the same as our policy with text books.”