Well, so much for that idea! I just heard back from central office and the answer is a big fat no! Here the email that awaited me this morning:
After much consideration and thought regarding the use of Turnitin as a tool to use with your graduate assignment, I have made the decision not to approve its use. The arguments against its use overshadow the arguments for its use. The tool is advertised as a college and university tool, with some public and private institutions electing to use it at the high school level as well.
A tool which might serve many of your purposes is Writeonline. Folks at Hammond Middle piloted this writing tool this year- I believe- and can provide you with valuable feedback regarding its usefulness with writing instruction for middle school students.
I wish you much success with your project.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Really? After much consideration? Why didn't she tell me this a month ago if ultimately it was her decision. So much back and forth and waiting just to get this answer is quite frustrating. I think sometimes people are afraid of new technology or even new uses of old technology and so they try to squash other people who are trying to be creative and innovative. There is such a fear of the unknown that it is quite remarkable. Now I'm not even sure what direction to go in. Wow, talk about frustrating...