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Principal's Report Week 7, Term 4 2013

posted Nov 21, 2013, 7:28 PM by Ms. Connors
Thank you to Mr Peter Low who has been leading our talented Davidson Shield Cricket team to much success. Unfortunately Arthur Phillip was too strong in this round.

Congratulations to Leo Tan (10) who has been recognised as an outstanding applicant for the position of 2014 World Vision Ambassador for NSW /ACT.

Last week we began auditions for our 2014 Musical. We hope to choose the musical this week and begin rehearsals before the end of the year. This will allow a smoother operation in 2014. Thank you to Mr Alan Best who will be directing his 40th Musical in 2014 – this will be a very special event. Please SAVE THE DATE now – we really want record numbers attending next year:
Thursday May 29th, Friday May 30th and Saturday May 31st 2014

Year 7 participated in Gala Day on Tuesday. With great enthusiasm and passion, they took on Cumberland High School in a number of sports and were able to narrowly defeat Cumberland on the day. Well done to all our Year 7 students and the many Year 10 coaches and referees.

On Monday night we celebrated our Year 12 Formal – it was a truly special night. Our young men and women looked magnificent and were relaxed and happy as they celebrated their graduation. It was superbly organised by Mrs Kaarin McKenzie and Mr Jason Driscoll.

During the week we held our Thank you Morning Tea for our volunteers and helpers that do so much for the school. It was lovely to see so many parents chatting and relaxing and getting to know each other.
On December 4th we are holding our last Food Fair for the year – our Sri Lankan and Indian Food Day.  We need helpers on the day and on the 3rd to help prepare the food. If you can cook a curry at home that will be greatly appreciated. Please contact the school if you can help.

Bring Your Own Device in 2014        Parent meeting Thursday 28th November in Lecture Theatre
Over the past few months we have been investigating options for the provision of computing devices (ICT services) to Year 7-10 students for 2014 due to the demise of the Digital Education Revolution (DER) laptop program.
The Department of Education and Communities is continuing to develop guidelines for the provision of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in schools and has worked with a number of suppliers in an attempt to negotiate the best deals on computer devices that will meet the specifications to work with standard school internet infrastructure.
As a result, we at James Ruse Agricultural High School are moving towards a model of BYOD for all students from Years 7-12, where parents will be given the option to purchase a device that will meet the needs of their child given the subjects they will be undertaking in 2014.
Students in Year 7, 8 and 9 2013: To allow the most appropriate purchase of a new device (either laptop or tablet) for your family we will specify a number of minimum requirements (specifications), however, we do wish to give yourself and your child maximum choice.

MIMIMUM SPECIFICATIONS OF A DEVICE:
•    WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY MUST SUPPORT 5 Ghz dual band wireless or 802.11 a/b/g/n (make sure it supports both ‘a’ and ‘n’).  Please note students will not be permitted to use alternative wireless options eg, 3G or 4G etc, as we can only ensure security and safety while using our wireless.
•    Operating System – current or previous version of any operating system eg, i0S6 or 5 for ipads
•    Battery life – minimum 5 hours
•    Memory and RAM – 16GB Storage 2GB RAM (at a minimum, students may prefer more)
•    Camera and Microphone
•    Reasonable size to enable ease of use throughout the day
•    Casing – tough and sturdy
•    Weight – light enough for your child to carry
•    Durability – needs to last a number of years
•    Keyboard (attached or wireless)
•    Word Processing software
•    Spreadsheet software
•    Presentation Tool eg, Keynote, PowerPoint, Prezi
•    Web Browser (Cloud based software application may be appropriate eg, Office 365)
•    Please note there are many suitable e-textbooks now available – please check your device would operate these.

It needs to be made clear that your provision of a new computer for your child is not a compulsory program. However, the school is not in a position to provide computers to all students as it has done, through the DER program, in the past. In order to ensure that ongoing ICT education continues and we are truly able to maximize our teaching and learning for our 21st century gifted learners, we believe a BYOD program is our only way forward.

To ensure equity for all students, we will create a pool of laptops that can be borrowed, on a yearly basis, by students.
A smart phone is not a safe or suitable device for the learning needs of our students.

Students in Year 10 and 11 (2013) will be given the option of BYOD or continuing to use their DER laptop at school. Students in Year 10 and 11 own their DER laptops; however, if they wish to donate them back to the school to contribute to our pool of loanable laptops it would be welcome.

Students in Year 9 (2013) were loaned laptops for 2013 only. In December, we will be collecting these laptops to be reimaged to join our loanable pool.

The Technology Committee is presently developing our school BYOD Policy and Charter of Use.

To allow greater discussion and questions to be answered, we will hold a parent meeting on Thursday 28th November at 6.30pm in the Lecture Theatre for parents of Year 7, 8 and 9.
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