Technology and Staffing Update for 21-22 School Year

May 20, 2021

SJS News & Updates

Hello St. Joseph School parents,

As the end of this school year draws near, we have some news and updates to share with you.

TECHNOLOGY UPDATES:  As we continue to learn how to best use technology in the classroom, we have decided to adjust the way we assess technology fees as well as the way we handle our tech equipment.  Here is the crux of the information:

Students in Kindergarten will continue to use iPads.  It is the best technology tool that we have for them and they can use the apps quite easily.  We will be acquiring a new set of iPads this summer.

Students in 1st and 2nd grade will use Lenovo Tablets.  These tablets are more of a hybrid tool that students use to access programs, websites and other educational learning tools. These tablets were new to us this school year.

Students in grades 3-8 will use a Chromebook.  The Chromebooks will allow students to access the Internet and many basic computer functions and computer science tools.  They will be able to access Google tools and Microsoft Office online tools as well as their school e-mail accounts using their Chromebooks.  We will acquire some new Chromebooks and continue to use the set that we have had for the past 2 years.

The technology fee ($150 for grades k-3 and $225 for grades 4-6) will allow us to purchase two computers for students to use for two sets of 3-years (grades 3-5 and grades 6-8) and then each of those machines will be allocated to the family; one at the end of 5th grade and the other at the end of 8th grade. We plan to let families acquire each of those Chromebooks at no additional cost.  The tech fee also covers our device management licensing, filtering, broadband, IT support, printers, and other peripheral costs.

STAFFING NEWS:  As school years end, we realize that staff transition to new phases of life.  This year, we have three such transitions.

Mr. Bob Schneider, our Chief Technology Officer, will be retiring.  Bob has been navigating us smoothly through the tech world for the past 5.5 years.  He has been a true gift to us with his great technology problem solving skills, his long pedigree of excellence as a teacher, his keen sense or humor and his overall love for students and Catholic education.  We wish Bob the best as he transitions to entrepreneurial retirement!

Mr. Rob Bell will be retiring as well.  Rob has been with St. Joseph School since October of 2019, and he has been involved with Catholic education for over 30 years.  Rob was our first Advancement Director, and he successfully launched many programs including the St. Joseph School Annual Fund, Memorial Gifting funds, and he helped us complete two virtual annual fundraising events.  Rob will continue to support St. Joseph until we are able to find our next Advancement Director.  Rob will be riding into his retirement and he looks forward to dedicating each day to his honey-do list and being a grandpa.

Ms. Clare Wickenhauser will be transitioning to a new position outside of the SW metro.  She is moving to the north side of town and the commute will be too long between Waconia and her new dwelling.  Clare did a wonderful job with our middle school social studies program this year and we wish her the best as she launches into the next phase of her bright career.

Please join me in recognizing and thanking these folks for their passion and dedication to our school community.

Bruce Richards, Ed.S.


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