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Haste makes for errors. Though the news release below from Episcopal Collegiate School talks about computers ninth graders will receive this year -- and all high schoolers next year -- I shouldn't have inferred it meant the computers were free. A school spokesman says that parents pay for the computers, which will be required for all high schoolers next year, in addition to tuition. Tuition is currently listed on the website as $9,150 a year for a new student, counting a $500 enrollment fee, but tuition is going up about $300 this year to just under $9,000.

The point is that computers are to be integrated into all classroom instruction at the school and pre-loaded with software to ehance that integration. Episcopal says it will introduce computers to the classroom to an extent unique in the state. The computers will cost parents about $1,700 over the four years, but that will include support, repairs, new software. Yes, because the computers are going to be used in a school setting, the Internet capability will be filtered to block objectionable sites, such as those devoted to pornography and gambling.

EPISCOPAL COLLEGIATE NEWS RELEASE

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – August 4, 2008 – Episcopal Collegiate School announced today that it will launch its Laptop Program this week.  All 9th graders will receive a personal computer to enhance their educational experiences at a special Open Box event at the school on this Thursday, August 7 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. in the Episcopal Collegiate Dining Hall.
 
Episcopal Collegiate is the first independent school in Arkansas to implement a “one-to-one” laptop program. Each member of the Class of 2012 will receive a laptop computer for his or her educational use. In 2009, all students of the Upper School – grades 9 through 12 – will be enrolled in the program and will receive their own laptop computers.

“The laptop program will provide teachers and students with a powerful tool to enrich the learning experience,” said Episcopal Collegiate School Headmaster Steve Hickman.

During the 2008-2009 school year, Episcopal Collegiate will be offering two computer options called “bundles.” One bundle offers Intel’s newest generation processor in a laptop that weighs just over 6 pounds and has a battery life of 3.5 hours. The second bundle includes a lightweight “convertible tablet” computer with a handwriting-recognition application for easy note taking. Each bundle comes with a four-year warranty.

“Technology is a fundamental part of the 21st century,” said Episcopal Collegiate School Director of Technology Don Stalls, “The combination of innovative teaching, technology, support, and training will prepare our students well.”

To integrate the laptops into the classroom, Episcopal Collegiate employs a full-time technology integration specialist, and a wireless network throughout the school allows students to access Internet resources from anywhere on the campus.

“This is another way that Episcopal Collegiate focuses on the individual student,” Hickman said. “The laptops will work well with our low student-to-teacher ratio of 10 to one and our average class size of 15 students.”

About Episcopal Collegiate School
Founded in 1998, the Episcopal Collegiate School is an independent school in Little Rock, Ark., currently serving grades 6 through 12 with a motto of Respect, Reverence, Responsibility. Students live out this motto by adhering to the school’s Honor Code and their treatment of others, demonstrating these values in their daily lives. Episcopal Collegiate’s low student-to-teacher ratio of 10 to one and average class size of 15 students demonstrate the school’s focus on the individual student to support learning and growth. Episcopal Collegiate offers extensive creative arts programs and 12 sports. Episcopal Collegiate School is accredited by the Southwest Association of Episcopal Schools (SAES) and the Arkansas Nonpublic School Accrediting Association (ANSAA); it is a member in good standing of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES), and the College Board. A new lower school (pre-K through fifth grade) will open in August 2009.


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