Algonquin news: Adminitrative turnover (and downsizing?), more retirees, and launching Bring Your Own Device tech pilot

Above: Often the best source for Algonquin news is their school paper. (images from school website and Harbinger website)

I have a hard time keeping up with what’s going on at Algonquin. Fortunately, they have students who dedicate time to covering the news. Here’s some of what I learned from reading the school newspaper – The Algonquin Harbinger – this morning.

Newsworthy items included another vacancy in the administrative team (which may or may not be filled), more faculty retirements, and a new pilot that will ask students to bring in their own laptops/Chromebooks this fall.

BYOD Pilot Program

A Harbinger article from last week describes a tech pilot program to be launched in the fall:

District technology officials are planning to launch a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) pilot program at Algonquin this fall. After positive effects from the current implementation of technology in the classroom, many faculty members are looking forward to such an idea. . .

“[With a BYOD program], a student would have access to his or her device 24/7 and he or she would be able to leverage technology for learning at home and school,” [Assistant Superintendent Gregory] Martineau said.

“Currently, technology devices funded through the operational budget are only available during school hours.”

This plan would not place a burden on students who are unable to afford a laptop or refuse to buy one.

“The goal of the BYOD program is to provide an option for students to utilize their technology tools at school,” Martineau said. “The District will continue to provide students with appropriate access to technology at school, regardless of the adoption of a BYOD program.”

Before fully adopting a BYOD program, the District plans to implement a pilot version at Algonquin and proceed forward if the program is successful.

“The timeline is to launch the pilot in the fall of 2017 and communicate a formal plan to the superintendent in January of 2018,” Martineau said. (read more)

Retirements & Administration Turnover

Many readers are aware that Algonquin Principal Tom Mead is retiring in a few days. You may also know that long-time Assistant Principal Mel Laughton is retiring after 23 years at the school. But most readers are probably unaware (as I was) that another Assistant Principal is leaving the building. According to the paper, the Superintendent hopes to replace him – if the budget allows. 

As the Harbinger wrote, that leads to a major shift in the administrative team: 

Assistant Principal Paul DiDomenico recently resigned from his role to take a principal position in another district. With only one remaining assistant principal from the four-person team, a new administration is emerging, leaving the future of Algonquin in new hands. . .

After 12 years as an assistant principal, DiDomenico has accepted the position of principal at Nashoba Regional High School in Bolton. (read more)

In a separate post, the school paper updated:

One of the open assistant principal positions is in the early stages of being filled. [Superintendent Christine] Johnson [was] accepting applications until June 13. According to Johnson, the district hopes to continue the search for the other assistant principal position if budget allows. (read more)

The paper also shared news on a Math teacher retiring after 24 years at the school – Math department chair Diane DeSantis. Among her accomplishments, DeSantis is credited with developing the AP Statistics program. You can click here for the story on her.

The paper also ran a profile of Michelle Rehill, retiring after 15 years as school librarian.

And you can also click the following links for profiles of Mead and Laughton.

Finally, if you missed my past coverage on the incoming Principal, click here to read about Sara Pragluski Walsh, Ed.D.

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