Fraser Public Schools personalizes learning with mobile devices


FRASER, Mich. – This school year promises to be one of the most exciting, educationally, in the history of Fraser Public Schools as the District of approximately 5300 students continues their efforts to redesign Fraser's learning environments and prepares to rollout iPads for the District's students. 

"Teachers will be able to leverage technology at the point of instruction rather than only having access to computers during the assigned computer lab time. Our teachers will be able to customize each child's educational plan to better meet the student's learning needs in each content area," said Dr. David Richards, Superintendent of Fraser Public Schools.

As a result of a bond issue that was passed in Fraser in 2011, students enrolled in Fraser Public Schools will have the opportunity to learn in classrooms that allow one-to-one access to iPads to support student learning for each child.   Fraser's goal: to offer a personalized learning experience for every student in the District.

"Though we have enjoyed a rich tradition of providing our students with a high quality education, as a community, a Board of Education, and staff, we realize that public schools are facing an unprecedented season of change," said Dr. Richards.  "Our drive in Fraser to redesign our School District comes from a realization that we must provide our students with customized educational experiences that will prepare them to be successful in today's college and work environment." 

After the passing of the bond, a committee compromised of teachers from all grade levels and various disciplines, building administrators, central office administrators, and instructional technology consultants met for an entire year to redesign the District's learning environment, align instructional strategies with a rigorous curriculum, and select the best instructional technology tool for students and staff.

"Today's classrooms must meet the needs of the diverse group of students who come to our schools, and Fraser is working hard to redefine the learning environment in order to meet the needs of all students through the best use and leveraging of technology," said Ms. Carrie Wozniak, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for Fraser Public Schools. 

In a Fraser 21st century classroom, teachers will use mobile devices to create flexible learning opportunities for all students.

"Though you will recognize the blending of our traditional offerings with the infusion of new digital offerings, our focus is not on the technology. Rather, we have a laser focus on student learning and increasing student achievement," said Dr. Richards.  "We believe that student learning drives the innovations that we are making within our School District."

The District has added a 21st Century Literacy course, a new curriculum for the 21st century learner.  The teachers of this new curriculum will be leaders in each building to assist both teaching staff and students to better understand the technology tools available to them and will work with teachers to integrate these tools into the curriculum.

"These are exciting times, and our students will benefit from the ability to take ownership and personalize their learning to meet the challenges of a 21st Century Global World," said Ms. Wozniak.

Student iPad deployment is scheduled to begin in the fall as the District is working off of a timeline that will issue classroom sets of iPads for grades DK-2 and individual iPads for each student in grades 3-12 over the next several months.  Teachers and administrators also received new devices, which include MacBook Pro laptops and iPads, at the end of last school year and over the summer to prepare for the 2012-13 school year.  With the addition of new technology, so comes the need for extra support.

"As our District moves forward with our redesign efforts, our needs are also changing with regards to instructional technology support for our staff and students," said Mrs. Kris Young, Director of Educational Technology and Information Systems for Fraser Public Schools.

Technology support models have been put in place District-wide to ensure that Fraser staff has the support they need to ensure success for all Fraser students.  Support will be available at both a building and District level.  Additionally, Apple trainers are working with the District and 16 days of professional development will be available through the 2012-13 school year.

With these new initiatives kicking off the upcoming school year, the District acknowledges the many questions parents may have and offers a special FAQ section on Fraser's website at www.fraser.k12.mi.us.  Parent meetings, a special 21st Century Learning newsletter, and email communications with parents will continue as the year begins. 

"I encourage parents to recognize the vital role that they play in their child's education during these exciting times," said Dr. Richards. "Our students will have learning opportunities that very few students enjoy on daily basis throughout the United States."

For more information on the educational opportunities offered at Fraser Public Schools, please visit www.GoToFraser.Com or call 1-877-94-FRASER.  School of Choice Enrollment for Macomb County families for the 2012-13 school year remains open until Friday, September 7.