All posts by Vardan Kabra

FSMUN Committee Selection

Dear Students,

This is regarding the FSMUN being organized on 24-25 Jan, 2015. I had earlier asked for applications for the FSMUN volunteers. This is the process that we followed to select the two key roles: the Secretary General (Executive Board) and the Director General (Organizing Committee).

After receiving the applications we first short listed the candidates for each of the two roles using the following two criteria:

a. Number of MUNs attended; performance in the MUNs as well as the variety of MUNs attended
b. Any organizing experience inside or outside of school

 

Using this we shortlisted 5 candidates for the DG position and 3 candidates for the SG position. All the candidates were then called for a short interview with a faculty committee where we looked at the following things:

 

- why do they want to take up this role?
- what makes them competent for this role?
- how would they handle difficult situations?
- what content knowledge do they have about their respective areas of work?
- how well would they be able to effectively lead teams?

 

The 3 member selection committee for this comprised of: Bhumika Parmar, Shezin Siganporia and Vardan Kabra.

 

While it was a close call in both the positions, this is what we decided upon:
Secretary General: Yash Lekhwani
Assistant Secretary General: Aashna Jain
Director General: Riya Shah
Assistant Director General: Shreya Thummar

 

Please note that these are the best choices that we could make given the limitations of time and information. We trust these candidates to do an effective job with the responsibility assigned to them. It is possible that they may make mistakes or errors of judgement. In case any of you feels that way then you may first approach them. In case you are still not satisfied then you may approach any of the three faculty members listed above or Ms. Subhalaxmi Iyer.

 

We hope that all students (and parents) will support this endeavor. We wish the student committee the best for the first FSMUN and we hope that it’s a grand success.

 

Regards,

Vardan Kabra
Head of School

Call for Organizers for FSMUN & players for Surat Ultimate Open 2014

Dear MY & DP students,

A bunch of our students went recently to IIMUN in Mumbai and they proposed to do a MUN at FS. We have agreed to host the event (Jan 24-25, 2015). The great news is that this event will be completely student-led. Those interested in organizing the event are requested to fill up this form (click here). All the details are in the form itself. Deadline is Monday 5 pm for filling this up.

Also, most of you know that Fountainhead has a strong Ultimate (Frisbee) community. On Nov 15-16, 2014 the 3rd edition of Surat Ultimate Open will be held. 12-16 teams from across India apart from teams from Surat are expected to participate. In fact the SUO event is also being organized the students (Avi Nandwani & Harshil Dhaniwal are the tournament directors and there will be many other student organizers). Being a co-ed tournament format (girls & boys on the same team), Surat Ultimate is always on the lookout for girl players. We already have a few and we look forward to more.

If you’ve been yearning to learn and play  Ultimate, then this is your chance to do so. Fill up this form if interested in playing (click here). You will be required to attend camps if you sign up. Hurry up – the camps are starting on Tuesday.

Regards,

Vardan Kabra

Declaring the IGCSE (Grade X) results

Dear all,
 
The Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) announced their IGCSE (Grade X) results on 12th August. Fountainhead School announces the following results of our students in the IGCSE June 2014 examination session.
  • Total No. of Students appeared for the IGCSE examination : 34
  • No. of Students who’ve passed in at least 05 subjects : 34
  • No. of students who got ICE (description given below) : 30
  • ICE achievement percentage :    88%
  • No. of Students who got distinction in ICE :  05
  • No. of Students who got merit in ICE        :  21
  • No. of Students who got pass in ICE        :  04
We would like to congratulate all our students, teachers and parents for this.
It is important at this stage to mention that the school aims to nurture both competence and character (which together forms primary greatness) in the students. Exam results are only a part of competence (skills) and they in no way reflect character. While such results might affect the student’s immediate academic career, however, it’s important to reflect upon the fact that success in real life is far more dependent on all non-graded skills and character such as vision, teamwork, analytical skills, leadership, confidence, passion, commitment etc. Long-term sustainable success can be achieved by anyone who has primary greatness and that’s something we hope that all our students will have!
 
We would also like to share the subject wise performance of students in terms of no. of A*(highest grade) and A grades scored.
 
First language English –                        02(A grade) 
 
Hindi as Second Language –               10(A grade) and 03(A* grade) 
 
Global Perspective –                                06(A grade)
 
India Studies –                                            05(A grade) and 01(A* grade) 
 
Coordinated Science Double Award) –   07(AA grade) and 02(A*A* grade)
 
International Mathematics –               08(A grade) and 02(A* grade)
 
Based on the results, we will also be identifying our strengths and areas of improvement on which we will work.
 
What is Cambridge ICE (International Certificate of Education)
Cambridge ICE is a group certificate drawn from several curriculum areas in Cambridge IGCSE (and is considered more prestigious that the IGCSE alone). It offers a balanced curriculum across a range of five 
subject groups:
•  Group I: Languages
•  Group II: Humanities and Social Sciences
•  Group III: Sciences
•  Group IV: Mathematics
•  Group V: Business, Creative, Technical and Vocational
 
Cambridge ICE is awarded to candidates who pass in  at least seven Cambridge IGCSE subjects, including two from Group I and one from each of Groups II to V.  The seventh subject may be chosen from any of the syllabus groups. It is awarded at one of three levels – Distinction, Merit or Pass – depending upon the grades earned in the seven examinations.
 
On behalf of the whole school,
Vardan Kabra
Head of School

TOK Reflection

Dear Students,

As discussed in the last class, please make sure to put in your reflection at http://classroom.google.com by today evening. It is necessary before the next class. I had emailed you the instructions earlier.

Regards,

Vardan Kabra

Email text here again:

I hope you’ve got the invitation email for the http://classroom.google.com. Once you login you will be able to see my announcement related to today’s discussion – this is what I have posted there. Could all of you please check-in so that I know that you are on Google Classroom?

In case you haven’t got the email invitation, you can login to the link given above and add the class using the following code: 2mreco
As discussed, you have to answer the question: “How can we ever be sure of anything that we know?” or “How do we know what we know”? So please get going with your reflections on the day’s discussion.

Updated Fountainhead School No-tuition policy that will be enforced

Dear Parents,

Over the last 2-3 years, especially the last year, the essence of the Fountainhead no-tuition policy was being diluted – more so with the increasing number of students in the Middle Years. Over the last year, we are seeing the increasingly negative impacts of this trend on the students. And now it has started hampering the quality of the learning environment in the school as well.

Unfortunately, as a school while we have been advocating the same message consistently, we haven’t taken any punitive action as yet. Many parents have assumed that breaking this policy is something that the school is fine with. We want to put a full stop to this from the upcoming academic year. It is common culture in Surat to send children to tuitions, and horrifyingly from Jr. KG. itself. We want to make it very clear that we don’t want our students going for tuitions.

In this policy, we have added a lot more reasons, while addressing the few genuine cases where tuitions may actually be required for a limited period. We have added clear implementable consequences in cases where there are slip-ups.

A copy of the policy is also being handed over to you on the PTC/SLC day. It has now also been updated on our web site: click here.

We have also created two videos to spread the same message. We request that you go through both to understand why we want to strongly enforce this no-tuition policy:

  • Detailed-video (< 12 min) which is in the format of a panel discussion, where we mention detailed reasons behind our view point : click here
  • Short-video (< 2 min) which gives a quick glimpse of our message: click here (also embedded at the bottom of this post)

Looking forward to your cooperation,

Vardan Kabra

Head of School

(On behalf of the entire Fountainhead Staff)

About the rain dance

Dear Students,

Today, many of you were disappointed at the outcome of the special assembly. As the decision was made just a day before after a student initiated the action (for those of you who haven’t seen the original video, have a look at this here), it also came as a last-minute shock to many of you who were so looking forward to event. I too was looking forward to this event. It’s a ritual, a tradition, and a part of the the school culture that we have built up over the years.

However, when you know what’s the right thing to do, then we can’t wait for the next year to do it, right? But after hearing many students express their disappointment to their teachers and to me, we thought that it’s important to decide on this as a school community.

We don’t have a mechanism that will prevent up to 80,000 litres of water from going waste when doing the rain-dance. The big question for all of us then is to answer this question:

Why waste even a drop of water if we can avoid it?

One way that we thought about to go ahead with the rain-dance is if we could save water individually or a school, maybe even 4-5 times of what we would otherwise waste, can we then have the rain-dance? But this doesn’t answer the next question.

While we are lucky to be living in a region which has plentiful water, but does that give us a right to waste water for our fun? There are millions of people in India and around the world who are deprived of water. As responsible citizens of the world, should we not be practising what we ask others to do? Should we not be concerned about our own future when water may not be as plentiful as it is today, even in our region?

If a cultural tradition or ritual is harming the environment, should we not break that tradition? Isn’t that we do otherwise in many other areas in our lives?

Almost every grade has a unit on saving the environment. Many of you have made posters, done rallies, and spread awareness of saving the environment, and even specifically for conserving water. Is it not necessary then to show integrity and do what we preach?

A suggestion solution is that we can have a rain dance during the monsoons, in natural rains. It will of course not be the same as the last day rain dance, and it will also be unpredictable, but will it compensate for the fun that we forgoing today for a right cause?

Today we tried to suggest many creative solutions to find a win-win solution. But we couldn’t. Earlier, Ankita, Iyer Sir and I also tried to give satisfactory answers to the questions asked above, but we couldn’t come up with a convincing reason to save the rain dance! Instead saving water was a far more compelling reason!

Perhaps you can still come up with a creative solution that doesn’t waste water, and we can still have a rain dance at the end of the school year! But then we must address the questions asked above.

And the end, I leave you with this question:

How may we justify (and to what extent) any damage / harm to the environment (and sometime other human beings) for the sake of our individual pleasures, fun and in the name of cultures and traditions?

I invite you to write your responses and your thoughts and send it by email to hos@fountainheadschools.org (please add a subject: About the rain dance).

Hope that all of you have a thoughtful, responsible and fun summer vacation,

Warm regards,

Vardan Kabra

 

Tech @ FS – how does it impact you?

Hello parents,

Students of the current Grade 9-10 had been advised to Bring Their Own Device (BYOD) this year. Next year, Grade 5 onwards, all students are expected to get their own Chromebooks. We’ve chosen Chromebooks for a number of reasons which are listed in the post below. In your case, what’s important to note is that students who already have a laptop need not switch to Chromebooks. However, if there are students who don’t have a laptop as of now, then they must bring one from the next academic session, and we highly recommend a Chromebook for the same (reasons listed below). In case you wish to place an order for the same, you can follow the process listed below.

Regards,

Vardan Kabra

——————————————————————————————————–

Dear Parents,

Information Technology (IT) has become an integral part of our lives in a short while. Today most adults and students have access to multiple internet enabled devices at home or at their work places. Technology has also become an essential part of education here at Fountainhead School.

To be able to live, learn, and work successfully in our information-rich society, students must be able to utilize technology effectively. Many students’ lives today are filled with technology that gives them ubiquitous access to information and resources, enabling them to pursue their interests in their own way and at their own pace. The opportunities are limitless, borderless, and instantaneous. The ability to use the information & resources meaningfully and effectively is the one skill that will be valued in their careers in the 21st century. Further, technology enables the school to potentially differentiate content to individual needs of the students.

While we are discussing Tech @ FS, let me also mention that currently a few sections are doing the trial of an online Daily Diary system that we hope will be ready for use for all of the school in the next academic year. So as parents, you too are making the technological leap, whether by choice or otherwise!

What we intend to do

A large team at school has spent the last 18 months or so in discussing and debating the pros and cons of having 1:1 devices. We’ve done a lot of research and read about many examples of the same. We have seen some examples with our own eyes. And we are convinced that introduction of technology in this way has huge potential academic gains that far outweigh the issues that may also crop up along side.

Therefore, we would like to start with a 1:1 computing device program from Grade 5 onwards. Every student of Grade 5 and above is expected to purchase a Google Chromebook from the next academic session.

From Grade 1-4, the school is investing in a set of at least 20 Chromebooks for each grade level so that they can access them far more frequently than they access IT devices in school right now. This will also prepare them to make the best use of the devices in their academic journey.

What are the specific advantages that we foresee?

We see the following very clearly:

  • Improve student engagement by being able to engage students whose learning path and curve is different from the average students
  • Address differentiation effectively by using numerous online resources such as khan academy and many more for language
  • Allowing students to develop quality research, analytical, synthesis and critical thinking skills
  • Bring the world closer by allowing for better opportunities for global exposure and collaboration
  • Allowing for much quicker feedback on the student’s work, which will also be shared with parents hopefully leading to improved academic focus

And there are many more advantages that we have in mind and many that we will discover once we start.

What do parents need to invest?

  • In an inexpensive Chromebook plus ChromeOS Management Console (which enables administration, user / app restriction, many educational features etc.)
  • In a reliable and fast internet access at home with WiFi access
  • Yearly Insurance for the device and any cost of repairs / damages over the insurance cost

What’s the school investing?

  • Into lockers / carts for safety & charging
  • Into extensive WiFi access and reliable high speed Internet bandwidth
  • Into teacher’s training so that we can maximize these devices
  • Into a Teacher Dashboard that allows easy interaction with students as well as monitoring rights over the students’ chromebooks

As parents, I am sure you have a lot of questions and concerns. To address the same, we’ve added a dedicated section for the same in our web site called: Tech @ FS (http://www.fountainheadschools.org/helpdesk/purpose-and-decision-steps-2/)

This section on the website covers the following:

  • What’s our experience like? What’s the world doing?
  • Why Chromebooks?
  • Will there be any usage agreements at home & school so that the devices are used effectively and not for the wrong reasons?
  • What are the potential safety concerns and how we intend to address this?

What are the next steps for the parents? They are given at the bottom on this post. Please read through carefully!

Lastly, I would like to assure you that we’ve taken this step after a lot of consideration and thought. We know that we will need to address safety and usage concerns as we implement this program, but as I mentioned earlier, we believe that the benefits outweigh the issues significantly. And yes, as parents you will have to work with us to make this work! But then we never said that being parents at Fountainhead was easy, did we?

Regards,

Vardan Kabra

NEXT STEPS:

Step 1

Firstly, you can voice your suggestions & concerns through the following channels:

a. Give your feedback using this Google Form: Click here

b. You can come and meet us on the following two open interaction days:

15th April & 17th April from 9 to 10 am at the school

We request that you go through the web site content that we’ve already put up before this taking this step. We will try to address all your unanswered concerns in these planned interactions.

Step 2

Decide on Which Chromebook as there are two options:

Acer C720

HP- Chromebook14

Weight

1.25 kg

1.85 kg

Color

Silver

White

Screen size(diagonal)

11.6 inches

14 inches

Minimum quotation received as yet (inclusive of all taxes)

21883

25835

Our comments: These laptops are equivalent in terms of performance. With the bigger screen, HP Chromebook 14 is also heavier and bigger to carry around. So for most students the Acer C720 will be good enough. We especially recommend Acer C720 for the younger students.

ChromeOS Management Console (perpetual license): This console will enable the school administration to configure and manage each Chromebook with ease, and will allow us to add security features (such as user restriction, apps restriction) as well allow many value-added features such as making a app landing page, online testing etc. This console needs to be bought only once for every device at the price of Rs. 2134 inclusive of all taxes. This price is valid only for bulk educational purchases. Regular license cost is almost double of the current price.

Step 3: Give advance payment

We need about 4-5 weeks to get the Chromebooks delivered and to set them for usage in school by June. So we are asking for advance payment right now.

Option No.

Option Detail

Advance Payment (to be paid by April 24th)

Total Cost

1

Acer C720 + ChromeOS

Rs. 12,000

Rs. 24,017

2

HP – Chromebook 14 + Chrome OS

Rs. 15,000

Rs. 27,969

3

Only ChromeOS (meaning you will purchase one of the above two Chromebooks from outside);

Rs. 2134

Rs. 2134

Notes:

  • Balance Payment to be paid in June before the device is received by the student. At that time, the school will be providing a debit note containing all the details of the purchase.
  • The total cost above is based right now on the minimum quotation that we’ve received from Google Resellers. In case, we get a lower quotation, we will apply the same.
  • Please note that the school has no commercial interest in this transaction. However, the school making the purchase in bulk allows us to get prices which will be difficult for individuals to get.

Payment Details

Option No.

Option Title

Details

1

Pay by Cheque

  • Name on cheque: “Fountainhead Education Trust”
  • To be submitted by student /parent at the front desk
  • Amount as given above
  • Mention name of the student, grade & section at the back of the cheque
  • Last date April 24.
  • Please mark it A/C Payee only

2

Pay Online through payment gateway

We are working on an online payment gateway, which some of you might prefer to use. If it is ready in time, we will inform you through the blog.

 

Step 4

In June 2014, we will spend time before the students start using their chromebooks in ensuring that parents and school together can ensure that students use their devices effectively rather than it becoming a distraction. We will make essential agreements for the same.

 

Tech @ FS – what’s new?

Hello parents,

The note that follows does not impact you as parents directly at this point of time. But it is important that you are aware of this initiative being taken at the school. Please do go through the first part of this post. We are introducing a grade-wise shared Chromebook cart for the students of Grade 1-4 from next year. You will hopefully be able to see the educational benefits of the same over the year.

——————————————————————————————————–

Dear Parents,

Information Technology (IT) has become an integral part of our lives in a short while. Today most adults and students have access to multiple internet enabled devices at home or at their work places. Technology has also become an essential part of education here at Fountainhead School.

To be able to live, learn, and work successfully in our information-rich society, students must be able to utilize technology effectively. Many students’ lives today are filled with technology that gives them ubiquitous access to information and resources, enabling them to pursue their interests in their own way and at their own pace. The opportunities are limitless, borderless, and instantaneous. The ability to use the information & resources meaningfully and effectively is the one skill that will be valued in their careers in the 21st century. Further, technology enables the school to potentially differentiate content to individual needs of the students.

While we are discussing Tech @ FS, let me also mention that currently a few sections are doing the trial of an online Daily Diary system that we hope will be ready for use for all of the school in the next academic year. So as parents, you too are making the technological leap, whether by choice or otherwise!

What we intend to do

A large team at school has spent the last 18 months or so in discussing and debating the pros and cons of having 1:1 devices. We’ve done a lot of research and read about many examples of the same. We have seen some examples with our own eyes. And we are convinced that introduction of technology in this way has huge potential academic gains that far outweigh the issues that may also crop up along side.

Therefore, we would like to start with a 1:1 computing device program from Grade 5 onwards. Every student of Grade 5 and above is expected to purchase a Google Chromebook from the next academic session.

From Grade 1-4, the school is investing in a set of at least 20 Chromebooks for each grade level so that they can access them far more frequently than they access IT devices in school right now. This will also prepare them to make the best use of the devices in their academic journey.

What are the specific advantages that we foresee?

We see the following very clearly:

  • Improve student engagement by being able to engage students whose learning path and curve is different from the average students
  • Address differentiation effectively by using numerous online resources such as khan academy and many more for language
  • Allowing students to develop quality research, analytical, synthesis and critical thinking skills
  • Bring the world closer by allowing for better opportunities for global exposure and collaboration
  • Allowing for much quicker feedback on the student’s work, which will also be shared with parents hopefully leading to improved academic focus

And there are many more advantages that we have in mind and many that we will discover once we start.

What do parents need to invest?

  • In an inexpensive Chromebook plus ChromeOS Management Console (which enables administration, user / app restriction, many educational features etc.)
  • In a reliable and fast internet access at home with WiFi access
  • Yearly Insurance for the device and any cost of repairs / damages over the insurance cost

What’s the school investing?

  • Into lockers / carts for safety & charging
  • Into extensive WiFi access and reliable high speed Internet bandwidth
  • Into teacher’s training so that we can maximize these devices
  • Into a Teacher Dashboard that allows easy interaction with students as well as monitoring rights over the students’ chromebooks

As parents, I am sure you have a lot of questions and concerns. To address the same, we’ve added a dedicated section for the same in our web site called: Tech @ FS (http://www.fountainheadschools.org/helpdesk/purpose-and-decision-steps-2/)

This section on the website covers the following:

  • What’s our experience like? What’s the world doing?
  • Why Chromebooks?
  • Will there be any usage agreements at home & school so that the devices are used effectively and not for the wrong reasons?
  • What are the potential safety concerns and how we intend to address this?

What are the next steps for the parents? They are given at the bottom on this post. Please read through carefully!

Lastly, I would like to assure you that we’ve taken this step after a lot of consideration and thought. We know that we will need to address safety and usage concerns as we implement this program, but as I mentioned earlier, we believe that the benefits outweigh the issues significantly. And yes, as parents you will have to work with us to make this work! But then we never said that being parents at Fountainhead was easy, did we?

Regards,

Vardan Kabra

NEXT STEPS:

Step 1

Firstly, you can voice your suggestions & concerns through the following channels:

a. Give your feedback using this Google Form: Click here

b. You can come and meet us on the following two open interaction days:

15th April & 17th April from 9 to 10 am at the school

We request that you go through the web site content that we’ve already put up before this taking this step. We will try to address all your unanswered concerns in these planned interactions.

Step 2

Decide on Which Chromebook as there are two options:

Acer C720

HP- Chromebook14

Weight

1.25 kg

1.85 kg

Color

Silver

White

Screen size(diagonal)

11.6 inches

14 inches

Minimum quotation received as yet (inclusive of all taxes)

21883

25835

Our comments: These laptops are equivalent in terms of performance. With the bigger screen, HP Chromebook 14 is also heavier and bigger to carry around. So for most students the Acer C720 will be good enough. We especially recommend Acer C720 for the younger students.

ChromeOS Management Console (perpetual license): This console will enable the school administration to configure and manage each Chromebook with ease, and will allow us to add security features (such as user restriction, apps restriction) as well allow many value-added features such as making a app landing page, online testing etc. This console needs to be bought only once for every device at the price of Rs. 2134 inclusive of all taxes. This price is valid only for bulk educational purchases. Regular license cost is almost double of the current price.

Step 3: Give advance payment

We need about 4-5 weeks to get the Chromebooks delivered and to set them for usage in school by June. So we are asking for advance payment right now.

Option No.

Option Detail

Advance Payment (to be paid by April 24th)

Total Cost

1

Acer C720 + ChromeOS

Rs. 12,000

Rs. 24,017

2

HP – Chromebook 14 + Chrome OS

Rs. 15,000

Rs. 27,969

3

Only ChromeOS (meaning you will purchase one of the above two Chromebooks from outside);

Rs. 2134

Rs. 2134

Notes:

  • Balance Payment to be paid in June before the device is received by the student. At that time, the school will be providing a debit note containing all the details of the purchase.
  • The total cost above is based right now on the minimum quotation that we’ve received from Google Resellers. In case, we get a lower quotation, we will apply the same.
  • Please note that the school has no commercial interest in this transaction. However, the school making the purchase in bulk allows us to get prices which will be difficult for individuals to get.

Payment Details

Option No.

Option Title

Details

1

Pay by Cheque

  • Name on cheque: “Fountainhead Education Trust”
  • To be submitted by student /parent at the front desk
  • Amount as given above
  • Mention name of the student, grade & section at the back of the cheque
  • Last date April 24.
  • Please mark it A/C Payee only

2

Pay Online through payment gateway

We are working on an online payment gateway, which some of you might prefer to use. If it is ready in time, we will inform you through the blog.

 

Step 4

In June 2014, we will spend time before the students start using their chromebooks in ensuring that parents and school together can ensure that students use their devices effectively rather than it becoming a distraction. We will make essential agreements for the same.

 

Chromebook Program for Grade 5 onwards

Dear Parents,

Information Technology (IT) has become an integral part of our lives in a short while. Today most adults and students have access to multiple internet enabled devices at home or at their work places. Technology has also become an essential part of education here at Fountainhead School.

To be able to live, learn, and work successfully in our information-rich society, students must be able to utilize technology effectively. Many students’ lives today are filled with technology that gives them ubiquitous access to information and resources, enabling them to pursue their interests in their own way and at their own pace. The opportunities are limitless, borderless, and instantaneous. The ability to use the information & resources meaningfully and effectively is the one skill that will be valued in their careers in the 21st century. Further, technology enables the school to potentially differentiate content to individual needs of the students.

While we are discussing Tech @ FS, let me also mention that currently a few sections are doing the trial of an online Daily Diary system that we hope will be ready for use for all of the school in the next academic year. So as parents, you too are making the technological leap, whether by choice or otherwise!

What we intend to do

A large team at school has spent the last 18 months or so in discussing and debating the pros and cons of having 1:1 devices. We’ve done a lot of research and read about many examples of the same. We have seen some examples with our own eyes. And we are convinced that introduction of technology in this way has huge potential academic gains that far outweigh the issues that may also crop up along side.

Therefore, we would like to start with a 1:1 computing device program from Grade 5 onwards. Every student of Grade 5 and above is expected to purchase a Google Chromebook from the next academic session.

From Grade 1-4, the school is investing in a set of 20 chromebooks for each grade level so that they can access them far more frequently than they access IT devices in school right now. This will also prepare them to make the best use of the devices in their academic journey.

What are the specific advantages that we foresee?

We see the following very clearly:

  • Improve student engagement by being able to engage students whose learning path and curve is different from the average students
  • Address differentiation effectively by using numerous online resources such as khan academy and many more for language
  • Allowing students to develop quality research, analytical, synthesis and critical thinking skills
  • Bring the world closer by allowing for better opportunities for global exposure and collaboration
  • Allowing for much quicker feedback on the student’s work, which will also be shared with parents hopefully leading to improved academic focus

And there are many more advantages that we have in mind and many that we will discover once we start.

What do parents need to invest?

  • In an inexpensive Chromebook plus ChromeOS Management Console (which enables administration, user / app restriction, many educational features etc.)
  • In a reliable and fast internet access at home with WiFi access
  • Yearly Insurance for the device and any cost of repairs / damages over the insurance cost

What’s the school investing?

  • Into lockers / carts for safety & charging
  • Into extensive WiFi access and reliable high speed Internet bandwidth
  • Into teacher’s training so that we can maximize these devices
  • Into a Teacher Dashboard that allows easy interaction with students as well as monitoring rights over the students’ chromebooks

As parents, I am sure you have a lot of questions and concerns. To address the same, we’ve added a dedicated section for the same in our web site called: Tech @ FS (http://www.fountainheadschools.org/helpdesk/purpose-and-decision-steps-2/)

This section on the website covers the following:

  • What’s our experience like? What’s the world doing?
  • Why Chromebooks?
  • Will there be any usage agreements at home & school so that the devices are used effectively and not for the wrong reasons?
  • What are the potential safety concerns and how we intend to address this?

What are the next steps for the parents? They are given at the bottom on this post. Please read through carefully!

Lastly, I would like to assure you that we’ve taken this step after a lot of consideration and thought. We know that we will need to address safety and usage concerns as we implement this program, but as I mentioned earlier, we believe that the benefits outweigh the issues significantly. And yes, as parents you will have to work with us to make this work! But then we never said that being parents at Fountainhead was easy, did we?

Regards,

Vardan Kabra

NEXT STEPS:

Step 1

Firstly, you can voice your suggestions & concerns through the following channels:

a. Give your feedback using this Google Form: Click here

b. You can come and meet us on the following two open interaction days:

15th April & 17th April from 9 to 10 am at the school

We request that you go through the web site content that we’ve already put up before this taking this step. We will try to address all your unanswered concerns in these planned interactions.

Step 2

Decide on Which Chromebook as there are two options:

Acer C720

HP- Chromebook14

Weight

1.25 kg

1.85 kg

Color

Silver

White

Screen size(diagonal)

11.6 inches

14 inches

Minimum quotation received as yet (inclusive of all taxes)

21883

25835

Our comments: These laptops are equivalent in terms of performance. With the bigger screen, HP Chromebook 14 is also heavier and bigger to carry around. So for most students the Acer C720 will be good enough. We especially recommend Acer C720 for the younger students.

ChromeOS Management Console (perpetual license): This console will enable the school administration to configure and manage each Chromebook with ease, and will allow us to add security features (such as user restriction, apps restriction) as well allow many value-added features such as making a app landing page, online testing etc. This console needs to be bought only once for every device at the price of Rs. 2134 inclusive of all taxes. This price is valid only for bulk educational purchases. Regular license cost is almost double of the current price.

Step 3: Give advance payment

We need about 4-5 weeks to get the Chromebooks delivered and to set them for usage in school by June. So we are asking for advance payment right now.

Option No.

Option Detail

Advance Payment (to be paid by April 24th)

Total Cost

1

Acer C720 + ChromeOS

Rs. 12,000

Rs. 24,017

2

HP – Chromebook 14 + Chrome OS

Rs. 15,000

Rs. 27,969

3

Only ChromeOS (meaning you will purchase one of the above two Chromebooks from outside);

Rs. 2134

Rs. 2134

Notes:

  • Balance Payment to be paid in June before the device is received by the student. At that time, the school will be providing a debit note containing all the details of the purchase.
  • The total cost above is based right now on the minimum quotation that we’ve received from Google Resellers. In case, we get a lower quotation, we will apply the same.
  • Please note that the school has no commercial interest in this transaction. However, the school making the purchase in bulk allows us to get prices which will be difficult for individuals to get.

Payment Details

Option No.

Option Title

Details

1

Pay by Cheque

  • Name on cheque: “Fountainhead Education Trust”
  • To be submitted by student /parent at the front desk
  • Amount as given above
  • Mention name of the student, grade & section at the back of the cheque
  • Last date April 24.
  • Please mark it A/C Payee only

2

Pay Online through payment gateway

We are working on an online payment gateway, which some of you might prefer to use. If it is ready in time, we will inform you through the blog.

 

Step 4

In June 2014, we will spend time before the students start using their chromebooks in ensuring that parents and school together can ensure that students use their devices effectively rather than it becoming a distraction. We will make essential agreements for the same.

Fountainhead receives DP Authorization from IBO

Dear Parents,

On behalf of the school, I am pleased to announce that Fountainhead School has received the authorization from the IBO for the Diploma Programme (DP) today. The letter has been attached here for you to view.

The IBO standards are quite tough and their evaluation is very rigorous. Having finished the authorization is a sign that the school is on track. We have also received quite a few commendations from the verification team – we will share some of those with you shortly.

Many of us at school have worked hard to ensure successful authorization of the program and we have now developed a good understanding of the program in the process of authorization. This is of course just the start of the program. We intend to excel in the delivery of the DP as well, starting from July 2014.

Regards,

Vardan Kabra

IB DP Authorization Letter March 2014