Back to Device Advice and District 1:1 device initiative
Back to Technology Home Page
Upon the district’s 1:1 launch (2019 thru 2020) we asked parents to choose between a school-issued device or the option that the student would bring a qualified “waiver device” to school from home.
High school students will continue to have a waiver option, but in order to help teachers and students with uniformity and management of the devices at lower grade levels we have decided to transition away from the waiver option for younger students. Students who initially indicated via FinalForms to bring their own “waiver device” upon the district’s 1:1 launch (2019 thru 2020) may continue to do so, but starting in 22-23 and onward, students upon entering 5th-grade, will automatically be switched to the school-issued device option.
There are solid reasons for a student, especially high school aged or older, to choose to waive a district-issued device, perhaps you’ve already bought your student a device or you anticipate your student doing tasks not possible on a Chromebook (ex. Photoshop, Inventor software, etc), but for most students a district-issued device is the best option. The biggest reasons for choosing a district selected device are uniformity, value and district support.
Students with non-district selected devices could receive only limited support. The technology department, as part of the $40 payment ($20 grades K-4), is able to make repairs (estimated three per student, per year - more information coming), on district selected devices. Repairs to waiver devices would be completed by students and their family. Similarly, the district will be able to load settings and programs on district selected device, but will have limited ability to do so, or will ask students to make changes on waiver devices.
When a student uses a district selected device, it makes the classroom more uniform for students and teachers. Uniformity, can at times seem like a dirty word to our sense of individuality, but it us helps eliminate scores of little issues that can get in the way of our students’ larger goals. The district and teachers can make changes in mass on district-provided devices. This uniformity also allows the district to save families and the district money on purchases and repairs. We expect to offer a higher quality device for less due to mass purchasing and reduced repair costs due to uniformity.
The district selected device provides a great value for students and families. The district is partnering with students and families on the cost of the devices. A $40 payment ($20 K-4) over 4 years costs students and families $160. The model of Chromebook the district selects as part of the normal cycle beginning in 5th and 9th-grade costs around $270 to $300. Repairs are an additional part of the expense. In a shortened accelerated cycle (where student were assigned devices with years of usefulness equivalent to the distance from replacement in 5th-grade, in 9th-grade, or graduation) this it roughly equivalates to one half as well. This cost sharing keeps the costs relatively similar to what has been spent in the past, while giving students and families some ownership, as well. If costs drop as expected, the district is looking forward to lowering the payment cost.
As stated, the district selected device will be the best choice for most students, but if your student has tasks to complete that are beyond the functionality of a Chromebook or if you already own a device for your student to use, please be sure it meets the waiver requirements below.
Waiver device requirements
- Wifi connection
- 7 hours of battery life
- 4 GB of RAM or more for Chromebooks*
- 8 GB of RAM or more for Laptops (Mac or PC)*
- A screen size between 11” and 15” (9”- 13” is acceptable if the screen is at a 4:3 book ratio)
- Smaller devices are preferred to maximize desk space and portability
- A model less than 4 years old
- Caution- If considering a purchase, many stores sell nearly obsolete models as “new” devices because they are unopened. Please be leery of low-cost items.
- They qualify if they meet the requirements, but we strongly recommend against dedicated tablets, such as iPads or Android tablets, as a waiver device. (Touchscreen laptops that can fold back into tablet mode are fine)
*Limited Exception- Previously purchased Chromebooks with 2GBs of RAM or laptops with 4GBs of RAM do not meet the district requirements for performance. However, these devices will qualify for the waiver for a limited time. These devices may perform at an acceptable level now, but are expected to hamper your student or may soon hamper your student as the device ages, or if your student’s usage increases. No new Chromebook purchase should have less than 4GB of RAM, or laptop less than 8GB of RAM.
Please be leery of “deals.” As mentioned, many stores offer old models or poor quality devices at discounted rates. Due to the mass purchasing rate and the district’s partnership toward the cost of the device, it is very unlikely to be able to find something that offers a greater value than the district selected device.
Back to Device Advice District 1:1 device initiative