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INFORMATIONAL LETTER: 7

 

POLICY CODE: IHAJ

 

 

TO: Superintendents of Schools

 

FROM: Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

 

DATE: July 13, 2004

 

RE: UPDATE - Extending One-To-One Computing, Maine Learning Technology Initiative to the High School Level

 

Evidence continues to mount on the value and success of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) for Maine's middle school students. Maine's program not only leads the nation but is recognized worldwide for its innovative approach and being a powerful tool for teaching and learning.

 

The need to carry the program and benefits for student achievement into high school is without question. Although much was done this last legislative session to accomplish a statewide expansion into all high schools, we were not able to put all the pieces together for a comprehensive statewide financial plan that could be approved by the legislature.

 

 

An Interim Plan for September 2004

 

Soon after the session ended we continued conversations to expedite a program for 9th grade students next year by using an approach that would provide a voluntary bridge, using available mechanisms and authority, to the eventual rollout of a full and comprehensive 9 through 12 program using the proven benefits of the current Apple lease/purchase contract used in the middle school phase.

 

Approximately 58 superintendents indicated interest in this proposal at the Commissioner's Conference. Since that time we have continued to fine tune the agreement. This letter will help to clarify the components of the agreement, access to the Revolving Renovation Fund, language in federal statute that permits use of Local Entitlement Funds, timelines and future plans.

 

The interim plan is a rental agreement that continues to provide a $300 per seat per year for 4-years option for school districts. While our goal is for a full 1:1 implementation for all high schools we recognize the importance of providing as much accessibility as possible for the incoming 9th grade. We have negotiated a rental plan that requires the Department to secure at least 8,400 seats to enter into the agreement by July 31, 2004. The agreement includes:

 

Laptop Equipment and Maintenance:

 

      Students units: Apple 12" iBook G4 with 256M RAM, Airport Extreme card

      Teachers, administrators, and technical coordinators: Apple 12" iBook G4 with 256 MB RAM, Airport Extreme card, and Combo drive (read DVDs/CDs and write CDs)

      Brenthaven carry-case.

      Custom imaging and asset tagging as with the current program

      Four-year AppleCare coverage for iBooks

 

Software:

 

         Apple Remote Desktop (one administrative copy per school)

         Notetaker

         Virex anti-virus

         Keynote

         Mac OS X

         MacJournal

         SubEthaEdit

         Worldbook

         Grass GIS

         PASCO DataStudio

         Office-type productivity suite

         E-mail client

         Fax capability

         iLife (iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto, GarageBand, iDVD)

         Sherlock

         .pdf reader

Training:

 

Introductory sessions will be jointly developed by Apple and the DOE. There will be a professional development session for educators and administrators, and a session for technical coordinators. These sessions will run concurrently with integration to be determined jointly by Apple and the DOE. These sessions will be coordinated with the hardware and network deployment plan.

 

Networks:

 

Apple will work with the state to install wireless networks in Maine public high schools that opt into the program.  These networks will include Apple Airport Extreme access points, and switches to cover agreed upon instructional areas. Apple will also provide Power Over Ethernet for the Airport Extremes in those cases where it is considered impractical for the school to provide power. Apple will work with the Maine Department of Education to optimize network installations.

 

Servers for Collaboration:

 

Apple Xserves will host a Moodle course management and collaboration application.

 

Backup of Student and Teacher Data:

 

Apple will provide a network-based server solution to be used for backup. 250MB of storage will be provided per student and teacher.

 

Districts will have the option of entering the agreement with fewer than 1:1 deployment for this school year. Apple will work with the Maine Department to provide the wireless infrastructure in schools where less than the equivalent of 1:1 will occur. It may be necessary to modify the portion of the building covered by the wireless infrastructure in these situations for this school year.

 

 

Revolving Renovation Fund

 

School districts may apply to the Revolving Renovation Fund under Priority 3 projects for reimbursement of the costs associated with the wireless infrastructure. Apple will provide the district with a bill for the wireless infrastructure. This amount can be submitted for reimbursement and does not require a local referendum.

 

To assist with your decision making our MLTI team has developed a formula to pre-determine wireless infrastructure costs. This amount will determine the minimum amount a School Administrative Unit (SAU) will be eligible for when submitting to the Revolving Renovation Fund. We recognize that some buildings may cost more due to issues that arise during the installation process. All districts will be eligible to bill the fund for this increased amount, if their costs rise above the estimated cost. The following steps detail this process:

 

MLTI - Wiring Infrastructure (Revolving Renovation Fund Process)

 

1.      SAU commits to State/Apple rental program for 9th graders or an equivalent amount of students

 

2.      SAU submits web-based application for Priority 3 Revolving Renovation Fund project - http://www.maine.gov/education/const/documents/RRFAppRevised7-13-04WORD.doc

 

3.      Department reviews and approves application and notifies SAU (a one week approval period is guaranteed)

 

4.      Wireless infrastructure is installed in school building

 

5.      Itemized invoice for total is submitted by Apple to the SAU and Department for payment

 

 

For Example: SAU #99 Invoice

 

Wireless Infrastructure $30,000.00

First Year Rental $30,000.00

____________________

SAU #99 (200 seats x $300.00) = $60,000.00 (DOE debits SAU subsidy)

 

SAU #99 Revenues to offset $60,000.00

 

Revolving Renovation Fund 20-50% of $30,000.00

Federal Grants

Local Funds

6.      Department pays Apple and debits SAU subsidy for total and forwards paid invoice to SAU

 

7.      SAU submits paid invoice to the Maine Municipal Bond Bank for payment to SAU of Priority 3 "forgiveness" amount. (Minimum 20% to Maximum 50%) or $30,000.00 x .50 = $15,000.00 in the above example

 

8.      Net cost to SAU $60,000.00 - $15,000.00 = $45,000.00 less Federal Grants or local funds

 

 

Funding Options

We have carefully analyzed possible funding sources to assist school administrative units with a solution for the upcoming school year. Resources that local districts can draw upon to meet their obligation should they elect to participate in this transitional plan include:

 

Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Local Entitlement:

 

20 USC 1413 Local Entitlement Agency Eligibility defines four areas for acceptable use of these funds for this initiative (these references to use of federal IDEA funds have been included in the EF-S-08 Local Entitlement Application for many years):

(1)   20 USC 1413 (a)(2)(C) Treatment of Federal Funds in Certain Fiscal Years: Local educational agencies may treat as local funds, (when the federal allocation exceeds $4,100,000,000) up to 20% of the amount it received under this part that exceeds the amount it received under this part for the previous fiscal year.

 

(2)   20 USC 1413 (a)(D)(4) School-wide Programs Under Title 1 of the ESEA: Notwithstanding subparagraph (A) - a local educational agency may use funds received under this part for any fiscal year to carry out a school- wide program, except that the amount used shall not exceed - number of children with disabilities participating in the school-wide program; multiplied by the amount received by the local educational agency under this part for the fiscal year, divided by the number of children with disabilities in the SAU.

 

(3)   20 USC 1413 (a)(4) Permissive Use of Funds - (A) Services and Aids that also Benefit Non-Disabled Children: Funds may be used for the costs of special education and related services provided in a regular class or other education related setting to a child with a disability in accordance with the individualized education program of the child, even if one or more non-disabled children benefit from such services.

 

(4)   20 USC 1413 (f) Coordinated Services System: SAU's may use not more than 5% of their total allocation in combination with other amounts (which shall include amounts other than education funds, such as MaineCare reimbursement) to develop and implement a coordinated service system designated to improve results for child and families, including children with disabilities and their families.

 

For Example:

 

SAU #99 State FY 04 State FY 05 Difference

$116,557 $135,379 $18,822

 

Sec. 613(a)(2)(C) 20% = $3,764

Sec. 613(f)(1) 5% = $6,770

 

SAU #100 State FY 04 State FY 05 Difference

$278,066 $329,212 $51,146

 

Sec. 613(a)(2)(C) 20% = $10,229

Sec. 613(f)(1) 5% = $16,460

 

SAU #101 State FY 04 State FY 05 Difference

$741,906 $837,748 $95,842

 

Sec. 613(a)(2)(C) 20% = $19,168

Sec. 613(f)(1) 5% = $41,887

 

SAU #102 State FY 04 State FY 05 Difference

$62,974 $72,247 $9,273

 

Sec. 613(a)(2)(C) 20% = $1,854

Sec. 613(f)(1) 5% = $3,612

 

For additional information about the utilization of IDEA funds please contact Jaci Holmes at 624-6669 or jaci.holmes@maine.gov or John Kierstead at 624-6658 or john.kierstead@maine.gov

 

 

Federal No Child Left Behind Funds (NCLB):

 

Title IIA, Title IID, Title IVA, and Title V: These federal funding sources could also be used in support of the local share. Increased flexibility under NCLB permits local districts to transfer up to 50% of allocated funds across NCLB programs (Title IIA, Title IID, Title IVA, and Title V). Technology purchases are permitted under each of these categories, but the transfer provision could also be employed to concentrate available funds in one category.

 

For additional assistance with the utilization of federal NCLB funds please contact Dennis Kunces at 624-6815 or dennis.kunces@maine.gov

 

 

The MLTI - Research Report #2 February 2004 documents the following results with regard to special education students:

http://www.maine.gov/mlti/pressroom/research/MLTI_SpecEd2004.pdf

 

  • The laptops were credited with improving the engagement of students with disabilities with their school work; increasing their motivation and ability to work independently; and improving their class participation, interaction with other students, interaction with teachers, and class preparation.

 

  • Special education teachers and parents indicated that the laptops also increased students personal organization. Assignments and student work were more frequently organized in
  • "folders" on the "desktop" of their laptop computers. Material was more easily organized by subject area and electronically filed.

 

  • Special education teachers perceived their special education students to have increased the quality and quantity of their writing. For many of these students, the laptops removed the motor coordination challenge of writing with pen and pencil and allowed them to produce work that was easily edited and looked as good as the work of their non-disabled peers.

 

  • Most special education teachers described how the laptop computer was of benefit to highly distractible students.

 

  • Most students with disabilities were highly motivated by their laptops.

 

  • The study concludes that special education teachers perceive laptop computers to be highly effective instructional tools for students with disabilities.

 

 

Implementation Plan

 

        July 2004 Continue 1:1 access for as many schools/students as possible (needed for an agreement 8,400 seats / Goal 11,000 seats)

 

If 8,400 target is met . . .

 

         July 31, 2004 Schools must sign an agreement with the Department to proceed.

 

         August 2004 Computers ordered Installation of wireless infrastructure begins

 

         September 2004 Professional Development begins for teachers, principals, and technology coordinators

 

         January 2005 Proposal to complete All freshman and at least one additional class to be included in Commissioner's Budget Conversion of the rental plan into a lease purchase agreement Funding to be incorporated into Essential Programs and Services

 

         June 2005 Installation of wireless infrastructure in all remaining high schools and career vocational centers

 

         Summer 2005 Professional Development for teachers, principals, and technology coordinators

 

         Fall 2005 All freshman and sophomores at minimum receive laptops

 

         Fall 2006 The one or two remaining classes to receive laptops

 

 

Please contact Tony Sprague at 624-6777 or tony.sprague@maine.gov

to enroll in this rental plan.

 

Governor Baldacci and I remain committed to insuring our students are equipped to meet the 21st century skills embedded in the Maine Learning Results. I appreciate the pioneer spirit that has been emulated from each of you in this effort.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Our team has prepared responses to questions they have received over the past two weeks to assist with your deliberations. You can access these frequently asked questions at:

 

http://www.maine.gov/education/edletrs/2005/ilet/attachfile/supconf05/LaptopRentalFAQ.pdf