Gardner Pilot Academy
Gardner Pilot Academy
Boston Public Schools - Allston http://www.rabbitnet.net/gpa/
GPA is partnering with Solution Grove and Sugar Labs to pilot Sugar on a Stick.
The Gardner Pilot Academy is the flagship full-service community school within the Boston Public Schools (BPS). The school's vision is to educate the minds and develop the characters of all students in partnership with families and community. To achieve this GPA provides high quality teaching along with a range of social, emotional and enrichment programs delivered by means of partnerships with an array of community organizations and individuals. Over the past twelve years, GPA has developed strong associations with four universities, several health and mental health agencies, the YMCA, and various organizations teaching visual and performing arts. As one of just 20 pilot schools in the BPS, GPA is exempt from district mandates. Therefore, GPA has autonomy in the areas of budget and personnel, along with the freedom to implement innovative curricula, assessments, and interventions.
Located in a culturally and linguistically varied section of Boston, the GPA serves quite a diverse student population. GPA's 336 students and their families speak more than 13 languages ranging from Spanish to Khmer (all of which are supported by Sugar). Demographically, 15.2% are African American, 59.1% are Hispanic, 10.7% are White and 13.1% are Asian. Over 85% of the students meet the federal poverty guidelines for participation in the Free or Reduced Price Lunch Program. The majority of GPA's students fall within a group of students considered to be academically at risk.
GPA is located only a few blocks from Harvard Business School and so is convenient for project development participants who may be students at one of Boston’s many universities.
The school currently has a single computer lab with older computers running Windows 2000. We will be soliciting donations of used equipment from local business to supplement these existing resources. Sugar can be used at all elementary levels and curriculum areas.
Current computers at GPA
- A computer lab with about 20 EVO D500 1.7 GHz Pentium 4, 500 MB RAM computers running Windows 2000
- 20 new Apple laptops in a mobile cart (OSX, hardware details unknown, no Parallels)
- Each teacher has a MacBook with Parallels 3.0
There are two teachers in the school especially interested in starting with Sugar:
- 4th Grade teacher who wants to do portfolios
- Science Teacher who wants to pilot with the 5th grade to support a new district mandate for writing in Science
The Summer Program
Classes run from July 6 to Aug 17th from 8:30 am to 5pm. The lead teachers over the summer work 10am to 5pm during the school year so we will have good continuity.
They will not be using the mac laptop cart and the summer teachers do not have macbooks.
We will be using the computer lab and we will be talking to the school about putting more computer into classrooms and other locations.
Next Tuesday we will work with the 2nd Graders on their science and social studies. The theme of the week is responsibility and the environment. They will be learning about their community and preping for a cleanup of the local Charles River.
The goal of the first project will be to label a map of where they do the clean up with what they find during their cleanup.
We have half an hour on Tuesday. After kids get their keys and boot up, enter their name and colors we will have them go to Turtle Art. We will prepare maps and preload them on the sticks and show them how to bring them into Turtle Art. Then we'll show them how to have the turtle label them. Next week, after their cleanup they can label what they find on the clean-up.
We are hoping that the kids can create a US version of the Uruguay geography/facts game. Any ideas on how to make that easy to do? The vision is they will learn things in class then make them into questions to put into the game. We will meet with the third grade on Thursday afternoons.
Looking for Summer Volunteers and Work-Study Students
We are currently looking for committed volunteers and work-study students for the Summer. We have some funding for Work Study so if you know any eligible students please let us know.
Ideally we would like a team of 3 people, each working around 20 hours per week, consisting of a technical person, a person with education experience and a marketing person.
For the GPA School:
- Student Learning,
- Teacher Participation,
- Parent Perception and
- Greater GPA School community perception of the project.
Our goals for the Sugar Project are:
- Sugar on a Stick projects replicated at other schools,
- Improved Sugar for everyone, including OLPC XO children,
- Increased visibility of Sugar, and
- Knowledge and best practices gained for using Sugar in US Schools.
More detail in our Balanced Score Card: http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=px5yPvIlUlLtsrYpZdVG_EQ
Status for the Computer Lab
Boots with the boot-helper CD and connects to the internet if the broadcom drivers are installed.
Critical Path Technical Issues
Our biggest issue is collaboration. We either need to get local colaboration, jabber collaboration or a local XS working
* Ticket 1014 http://dev.sugarlabs.org/ticket/1014 - Jabber keeps dying, then it falls back to Salut, that only finds one computer, then it tried Jabber again, works briefly, dies.
* Ticket 1012 - not collaborating locally
How you can help - Technical Tickets
The following tickets will help this deployment.
- [Ticket 75]Backup and Restore of user data on a USB Stick
- [Ticket 74] Clone a Stick. Let a teacher customize a Sugar Stick then clone it, without files or personality, for students to use.
- Can't get Computer Lab Machines to Boot from USB - The BIOS says it should be trying to boot from the USB but its not looking at the USB. A google search confirms that this is not a sugar problem, its an EVO D500 problem. I'm hoping we find a solution. http://dev.sugarlabs.org/ticket/599
Google Search on EVO D500 usb boot gives this result: http://forums13.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/questionanswer.do?admit=109447627+1237587827991+28353475&threadId=1038476
- Boot Helper Floppy - This is easier then a CD because the computer has to be turned on to open the CD Drawer and put in the CD then you have to turn it off again and reboot.http://dev.sugarlabs.org/ticket/597
- [Ticket 579]. We have several donated computers. A requirement for the donations was that we wiped the harddrives. Thus it would be great if we had an installable operating system enabled quick user switching between USBs. This is also impacted by 907, described below.
- [Ticket 598] and [Ticket 907] . One way to enable faster switching between Windows and Sugar is a Virtual Machine solution that will allow students to put in their USB Sticks and use all the personal data from the Sticks so they can use any computer. To do this we need to change the way we put data onto the USB and use different partitions for the boot and the data (Ticket 907).
Sugar Feature Requests
This link records an in process list of priorities for Sugar development with a focus on success at the Gardner Pilot Academy:
Sugar_on_a_Stick/Goals Other feature requests by Gardner Pilot Academy are in Category:Features requested by Gardner Pilot Academy
It is extracted from this thread on the Sugar Devel List:
Please propose additional suggestions on that list. After clarifying and validating the Feature Requests, add them to the Goals page.
Also, on the pages describing features that Gardner Pilot Academy request, add [[Category:Features requested by Gardner Pilot Academy]].