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School board OKs use of personal technology at A.L. Brown High

A.L. Brown High School students can now bring their own technology devices to class for instructional purposes, thanks to a policy passed Monday by the Kannapolis City Schools Board of Education.
The board approved the policy 4-1, with Doris Buchanan voting against it.
Buchanan said she wanted another month to look over the policy before making a final decision, according to Ellen Boyd, director of community relations.
Students will be able to use their own laptops, netbooks, tablets, e-readers, smartphones and audio players in class and on school property during lunch and before and after class. Handheld gaming devices are not allowed.
Wireless Internet access will be provided for students.
Boyd said the district estimates that “well over 85 percent” of students have their own devices, but they are not required to use them. There are also 60 iPads available for rent in the school’s media center that can be used during the day in classes.
Device usage is on a class-by-class basis as determined by each teacher.
Although the policy was ready for board approval several months ago, former principal Kevin Garay asked the district to wait until a new principal was hired to make a final decision. When Kenneth Bowen took the reigns of A.L. Brown, he was on board with the policy and sent it to the school board for approval.
Boyd said that the policy only applies to the high school, if it’s successful, it could eventually be implemented in the district’s middle and intermediate schools.
The Board of Education also discussed the district’s upcoming strategic plan. The current plan ran from 2010 to 2015.
Dr. Randy Bridges, who has been a superintendent in three states and helps school districts write their strategic plans, is consulting the district throughout the process.
An online survey is available in both English and Spanish on Kannapolis City Schools’ website. The survey is for parents, employees and community members to express their goals and priorities for the school system. The survey runs through Sept. 19.
Dr. Randy Bridges is helping develop the plan. He has been a superintendent in three states and works with districts to write strategic plans.
The final project should be completed in October or early November.
The school board approved its 2014-15 budget resolution as well.
Despite cutbacks from the state, only one position, which was already vacant, was eliminated. Career and Technical Education, English as a Second Language and Secondary Education duties will be split up among other central office personnel.

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