The district puts together a “technology planning committee” composed of parents, teachers, students, administrators and others. The committee does its best to look into the technological future and, as the name suggests, make plans. In preparation for our current technology plan the committee’s time was spent focusing on a move to assigning devices to students (typically called “1 to 1” or “1:1”). Over time and as instruction called for it, the district built computer labs, moved to labs assigned to departments and grade levels, piloted devices being assigned to individual classrooms, and the committee agreed that a move to assigning devices to students (typically called “1 to 1” or “1:1”) was the next natural step in our students' future.
To those closest to the situation, the at-the-time pending change seemed the smallest and most ordinary. To those further from our classrooms’ day-to-day operations, it may have seemed to be a bigger change, especially if they’ve heard news of or had ties to other districts who jumped into 1:1 effort all at once and made big shifts in instruction and procedures to coincide. While that can be exciting, I’m proud that we launched our 1:1 efforts letting our teachers’ our good instructional practices lead the way. In that same spirit and after great feedback from groups of stakeholders like the PTOs, the library, and student council, the plan was launched.
1:1 program launched
In the 2019-20 school year the district launched a year-by-year rollout of a 1:1 environment (assigning devices to students) with yearly payments leading to student device ownership. During this school year fifth and ninth-grade students were assigned an annual device payment of $40 and to received a school-issued Chromebook to use over the next four years. In the spring of the 2019-2020 school year we starting receiving responses and made preparations for the newest group of 5th and 9th-grade students to be assigned devices.
In an effort to improve safety by significantly reducing the number of contact points created by devices shared amongst students, the district has accelerated the 1:1 program (1 student to 1 device ratio). As previously planned, students should still expect to receive a new device upon entering the 5th and 9th-grade. In addition to the originally planned rollout (year-by-year for students entering 5th and 9th grades), the district will now be assigning devices to all students in grades K through 12.
Students in 7th, 8th, and 12th grades should expect to receive an older device that has an expected usefulness that aligns with the amount of yearly fee payments collected and the amount of years of expected usefulness for school purposes for that particular device.
A 12th-grade student will be assigned $40 in fees ($40 over 1 year) and receive a device with 1 year of expected school usefulness.
A 7th-grade student will be assigned $80 in fees ($40 over 2 years) and receive a device with 2 years of expected school usefulness.
K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-grade students should expect an annual device payment of $20 and to receive a school-issued Chromebook to use until exit of 4th-grade. The program differs from students in higher grade levels in that the district plans to collect the device issued to the student after this period of time (exit of 4th-grade), as well as, the reduced fee.
In these scenarios, the district is essentially splitting the cost of the device with students. The student device payment is $40 per year with three repairs per year. In the typical cycles (that start in 5th and 9th-grade) this accumulates to $160 over the four years after which the student keeps the device. In a shortened accelerated cycle it roughly equivalates to the same amount as well. Splitting the cost with students helps the district to hold costs steady by spending what it has traditionally has on student devices. If costs drop, the district is looking forward to lowering the payment cost as time goes on.
As a part of the plan OHS parents and students may choose to waive the annual payment, and elect to bring a qualifying device in place of the device selected by the district. There are great reasons like already owning a qualifying device, but we highly recommend families going with a district Chromebook. If you’re considering the waiver option please be sure to read the waiver device information and requirements. If you wish to switch your OHS student to a waiver device we request that a device change form be completed and the school device be returned.
We’ve done our best to anticipate needs and problems ahead of time, but we will definitely improve as we learn what works best. To help with this and answer questions like “What happens if my student doesn’t bring their charged Chromebook to school?”, “What happens if the Chromebook breaks?”, “How much does this all cost?”, or “What happens if my student doesn’t bring their charged Chromebook to school?” we’ve created 1:1 Frequently Asked Questions.
I’m excited to be a part of these steps and to help provide our students with an environment that will prepare them for college, service, or a profession where digital skills will be considered part of their literacy. I’m excited to see what new opportunities we can provide our students. I’m excited to see what our great teachers and students create!