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Detroit Public Schools students to receive Take-Home Netbooks on Count Day, Oct. 3


October 2, 2012: Detroit Public Schools is launching multiple exciting initiatives to emphasize the value of continual attendance on Count Day, October 3, 2012—and every day following—including the official start of its take-home Netbook program.


As part of the district’s Count Day incentives, several schools will begin distributing Netbooks, which are small laptop computers, to students in grades 8-12 on Wednesday. Distribution will continue each week throughout the month of October until roughly 19,000 Netbooks are distributed, providing students access to technology outside of the classroom.


In January 2012, Roy Roberts, DPS Emergency Financial Manager, announced the take-home Netboook program for all students in grades 8-12 and continued in-school access for students in grades 6 and up. Count Day was specifically selected to kick-off the take-home Netbook initiative to remind parents and students of the day’s significance.


“Count Day is indeed important. However, for DPS, it has been critically important that our attendance drive begins the very first day of school, and every day throughout the school year,” Roberts said. “There are many factors why attendance is important including financial, legal, and state reporting requirements. But the reason we’re most focused on getting children in school and making sure they are here every day is educational.  For all of the efforts we’ve made to ensure that classroom instruction, technology and the most highly qualified teachers are in place, we’d be foolish to not work, with all of our might, to make sure that students receive a full day’s instruction, each and every day.”


The district’s new attendance theme: “First Day. Every Day. All Day.” has been proven successful with early attendance data exceeding previous years’ attendance rates. By the second day of the school year, the attendance rate had reached 85%, and that number increased to 90 percent by the start of the third week of school.


To date, the district has recorded more than 51,000 students, which is several hundred students above the anticipated enrollment amount for the 2012-2013 academic year. The adopted fiscal year 2012-13 budget is based on a fall term enrollment of 49,852.


Internet service, safe usage with Gaggle

The take-home Netbook program, along with an Individualized Learning Plan for every student and an Academic Blueprint for every parent, can further assist in making the connection for families between success in school and success in life, Roberts added.


DPS is also partnering with Internet Essentials from Comcast to ensure families are aware of a special low-cost home Internet service available to those qualifying for free- and reduced-price lunch.


The district’s goal in providing this service is to promote educational excellence not only during school hours, but also at home by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, and unlimited communication.


“Access to Netbooks will enable students to complete homework assignments, explore thousands of libraries, databases, and bulletin boards while exchanging messages with Internet users throughout the world in the comfort of their own homes,” Roberts said.


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Revised: 10/02/12 19:39:46 -0700.



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