GEHS students to recieve new Dell Chromebook laptops in January. Photo courtesy of Leann Northway USD 231

GEHS students to recieve new Dell Chromebook laptops in January. Photo courtesy of Leann Northway USD 231

Dell Chromebooks are scheduled to be distributed to all USD 231 students in January, if parents have attended the required meeting.
According to the technology report reviewed by the board of education at their Dec. 7 meeting, over 50 percent of Gardner Edgerton High School School parents have attended the required 1:1 meeting. Additional meetings are scheduled thru Jan. 4, 2015; dates and times can be viewed on the district’s website.
Approximately 1,550 Chromebook laptops will be distributed to students in grades 9-12 as well as GEHS teachers, according to Leeann Northway, USD 231 public information officer. The cost was about $500,000 to start the 1:1 initiative at GEHS which is being funded in part from the 2012 Bond Issue, budgetary planning and reallocation of resources.
“Equity in learning is extremely important to our students and teachers,” said Mark Meyer, GEHS principal. “In the past, many students did not have equal access to technology in the home as other students, but with this initiative, the same learning tools used in the classroom will be available to all students off campus.”
“We’re excited about getting our own device,” said Benjamin Wyss, senior. “It’s going to be a whole new way of learning in the classroom. It’s pretty awesome!”
1:1, the learning advantage, is a program designed to make sure students are prepared for college and career after graduation. To that end, beginning in January 2016, GEHS students will receive a Dell Chromebook, charger and protective sleeve for use at home and school. Insurance for the
See GEHS, page 8
From GEHS, page 1
remaining 2015-2016 school year is available for $15; complete program details and cost schedule is available on the district’s website.
The Chromebooks must be returned at the end of the school year, and failure to do so will require a $300 reimbursement to the district. The devices are not available for sale due to tax laws and trade-in value needed to sustain the program for future students.
USD 231 has an acceptable use policy which outlines how students are expected to behave with technology, and it outlines what is considered acceptable including email, the internet and any applicable networks.
Key points listed include: maintaining the confidentiality and not permitting others to use the logo name or password; not using the device for commercial or other unlawful purposes; and not deliberately accessing, creating, sending or forwarding any obscene, sexually explicit or racist files or images.
Students using the devices have no expectation of privacy; activity may be monitored. USD 231 currently has an internet filtering system, and the technology management program has the ability to disable devices if lost or stolen.
Although the district does not filter internet usage off school grounds, a list of websites that provide helpful information to those parents interested in monitoring internet usage are available.
Chromebook laptops will be distributed to students 9-12 grades to begin second semester. Parents will need to have attended one parent information meeting and signed the computer loan agreement in Skyward, the district’s database, prior to Jan. 6, for their student to receive a Chromebook.  More information on the program and meeting dates can be found at http://www.usd231.com/District/10463-1-1.html.