Proceeds from the Defenders' Ball 2024 Fund-A-Need will directly support technology improvements in our school by establishing the Blessed Carlo Acutis Fund. The fund is dedicated to a 4-year process of refreshing and expanding access to technology for teachers, staff, students, and volunteers on the SMA campus, including the purchase of over 530 new Chromebooks.
The ongoing expenses will require an investment of approximately $500,000 in our school technology capabilities.
Blessed Carlo Acutis led an inspirational example of how to incorporate faith and technology to expand our knowledge of God's love and share the Gospel message. His devotion to Jesus in the Eucharistic created the first compilation of Eucharistic miracles - talk about using the internet for good!
Grade Appropriate Approach
The quantity of laptops available in each classroom is based on thorough discussions with teachers and staff and correlates to the amount of supervised time students spend utilizing technology. Creating laptop to student ratio goals: 1:1 for grades 5-8 & 2:1 for grades K-4.Screen time per student per week is capped at an age-appropriate amount: ~20 min/wk for kindergarten with implement increase to 5 hrs/wk for 8th grade. Tablets will be used at school and will not be sent home with students.
Digital Citizenship & Safety
Technology has the potential to be used in amazing ways but also requires a layer of protection, especially for our youth. The fund will allow the parish to purchase an internet filtering and alert system that not only prevents unauthorized sites but proactively alerts specific individuals if keywords/phrases are used by students. The goal is that parents also have access to this software for use at home on personal devices.
Our school leaders are proactively making choices to provide adequate training for all staff to blend technology into the learning environment with intentional instructional activities that regulates its use in the classroom. A portion of the fund will be used for ongoing staff training on the appropriate implementation of online resources (i.e. IXL and Reflex Math) and how to use impromptu opportunities to provide computer guidance & instruction. Teachers will tie new Virtues curriculum with Internet safety and responsible usage.