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Chromebook Initiative

What does this “One to One-Chromebook Initiative mean?
While Rockford Lutheran will still provide our two permanent labs and multiple laptops for use by other students in other grades, beginning in August of 2015, we will require that every 8th and 9th grade student have his or her own Chromebook for school use on a daily basis.  While these will not be utilized every day in every class, the frequent application of 21st century learning experiences will require students to have regular access to this resource. The intent is to use this year as an opportunity to evaluate this type of program, with the plan to move it forward as students progress through the high school years.

Why is Rockford Lutheran implementing this program?
A One-to-One learning environment provides students and teachers with access to a vast new world of learning resources.  Internet sites, online software, electronic documents and innumerable presentations provide educational experiences that cannot be accomplished in any other fashion.  It is absolutely critical for our students to experience these learning opportunities and utilize these resources in order to be prepared for college and career. Limitations of tablets and smartphones preclude the ability to create and produce the type of educational results that are necessary for our students.  Our previous experience with internet devices has also proven that uniformity of student use of the same device significantly improves the instructional process and the academic results.  Student engagement in the educational process, the differentiation of learning needs and student-centered collaborative learning experiences are all facilitated by this Chromebook technology.

Why are students providing their own devices?
The cost to the school for providing each student with a device would be significant, and the only means to cover that cost on an ongoing basis is through tuition increases. The advantage of this initiative is that the additional expense results in a valuable and productive device that belongs permanently to the family, not the school. Additionally, experience has shown that students take greater care of their own property. 

What will my student be expected to bring to school?
This initiative involves any device that qualifies as a Chromebook, in other words a laptop device with a keyboard that runs the Google Chrome operating system.  These devices are built by a number of manufacturers such as Asus and Samsung. These devices boot quickly for classroom use, have an extended battery life and provide reliable access to the internet and a set of tools that meet our educational expectations.

Will the school assist us in this purchase process?
In order to help families with this initiative, the school is willing to offer an opportunity to “lease-to-own” a machine from the school with a three year payment plan.  These systems would include a case, an extended three year warranty and the necessary software module to connect through the school network.  Families who provide their own Chromebook would need to also provide this software module to allow the system to operate in our “closed domain”, which helps protect students from unauthorized applications and protects the machine from unnecessary applications being installed. 

What software will be needed on my child’s computer?
In most cases, no software needs to be purchased. Rockford Lutheran students all have a Google Apps account on which to store student work. This is a web-based file storage system providing many productivity tools including a word processor, spreadsheet program, and a presentation program. Students will be able to use these capabilities through Google Apps, rather than purchasing software. Some upper level courses may suggest the use of a specific app for a class lab or activity.  These are typically free or very inexpensive and are not expected to involve significant costs to the family.  Again, families who provide their own Chromebook would need to also purchase the software to allow the system to operate in our “closed domain”, which helps protect students from unauthorized applications and protects the machine from unnecessary applications being installed. This expense is under $40.

Who pays for the technology brought to school?
These devices will be purchased or leased by the family and will remain the property of the family.

Who is responsible for any repairs or updating to personal computing devices?
Students and/or their families are responsible for their personal computing devices at all times. Rockford Lutheran does not have the technology support staff to repair or update personal computing devices.  Devices purchased via the lease-to-own program through the school will include a three year warranty on any mechanical defects.  This does not cover breakage due to accidents or misuse.

Who is responsible for damage, loss, or theft of devices your child brings to school?
Families must stress the responsibilities their children have when bringing their own computing devices to school.  Any devices students bring to school are their sole responsibility. Rockford Lutheran takes no responsibility to search for lost or stolen devices nor is there any assumption of financial responsibility for damaged, lost or stolen personal computing devices.

How can I best identify my student’s device in order to discourage theft and encourage return of a lost device?
There are a variety of means by which devices could be permanently marked or engraved for future identification. Leased machines must not be marked until the end of the lease agreement.  Protective covers will be provided for leased machines, and serial numbers will be recorded for identification. Reminding students of basic expectations for locking lockers would be beneficial as well.

Will the family need to have Internet access at home?
It would be helpful to have some form of Internet access (wired or wireless) in order for a child to make full use of school resources from home, as well the multitude of resources available on the World Wide Web. But home access is not required in order for a child to use a personal computing device at school.

Are there any other considerations?
It may be wise to acquire theft or hazard insurance. If purchasing a new computing device for a child to use at school, we recommend purchasing the extended warranty.

Will my child need to have a signed Technology Acceptable Use Policy on file?
Yes. In order to supervise student use of the computer network and the Internet, the Technology Acceptable Use Policy must be read and signed by all students who want to have access to educational resources.

Will my child be expected to use his or her computing device both at school and at home?
Just as with traditional assignments, some assignments may need to be completed at home. If there is a computing device malfunction or an interruption of Internet connectivity at home, a student may use computers at school before or after the school day or during study hall.

Will students be able to print documents from their personal computing devices?
Rockford Lutheran will provide limited wireless printing capabilities.  Students will be instructed concerning this process by their teachers who are requiring this activity. We will also provide alternatives as follows:
  1. printing capabilities from school computers, and/or
  2. electronic delivery of documents through email or other online methods.
Where will my child’s work be stored?
Students will be able to store documents on their Google account, which will provide access from any location with internet access.   They will also be able to email them for storage on their school “L” drive, which is available only while on campus.

What sort of limitations will be placed on the use of this device?
Teachers will always have the authority to prohibit or limit the use of devices in their classroom.  Each teacher will communicate to students their individual expectations. Utilization of the devices will be in accordance with our school “Technology Acceptable Use Policy” as noted below.  Our intent is to not only open new horizons to our students, but provide the character training that promotes responsible use of these tools as consistent with the mission of our school.

What if my student’s device loses power or malfunctions while at school?
While we will expect students to come to school with their device fully charged, we will seek to provide limited charging stations in common areas of the building such as the MPR and the library.  Students who have an emergency need for a device may be able to borrow a device from the library for a limited time, while at school.  Use of a school device will include responsibility for the safe return of the device.

ACADEMICS >> Chromebook Initiative