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Dear SSIS Parents of Grade 3 and 4 Students –

In yesterday’s letter from Head of School Mark Sylte, beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, all Grade 4 and Grade 5 students will be required to bring a Macintosh laptop to school each day. This decision is part of our larger SSIS technology plan that commits SSIS to transition toward a single computer platform, Apple, over the next three years.

In our elementary program, we have researched and discussed key questions around appropriate hardware and software usage for various ages of our students. In our report to parents last year, we explained that our youngest grades (EC – Grade 3) would continue a gradual increase in the use of technology over the years. This year we issued Asus netbooks to all Grade 5 students (at a $250/year tech fee charge) and saw early and strong adoption of new ways of writing and sharing. Now, it has been decided, that all students from 4th grade through high school will bring Macintosh laptops to school every day starting next year.

Quality integration of appropriate technology helps strengthen traditional academic skills (reading, writing and numeracy), as well as innovative ways to enrich and expand our curriculum. We would like to invite you to learn more about our curriculum and the laptop program at a parent meeting scheduled for Tuesday, 7 October 2014, at 7pm in the auditorium. At this meeting, I will introduce a variety of guest presenters, including students and teachers from grades 4 and 5, Technology Learning Facilitator Alfredo Papaseit, and Director of Technology David Perkin. In the meeting we will explore current uses of technology at SSIS elementary, future innovations made possible by our move to the Macintosh laptop program, plans for how this new initiative will be implemented, systems of support that will be provided during this transition, and questions parents may have.

We would like to remind our community that all public meetings at the school are open to anyone at SSIS who has a particular interest in the topic under discussion. While Tuesday’s meeting is most directly aimed at parents of current Grade 3 and Grade 4 students whose children are remaining at SSIS for the 2015-2016 school year, any parent of an elementary aged student is welcomed to attend.

As we continue to help prepare our students for an exciting future, we are supporting them to become the creators and masters of digital content. This Macintosh laptop program is one important step on that journey. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, 7 October 2014.

Sincerely yours,

Dan Keller
EC/ES Principal
Saigon South International School

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