1:1 Chromebook Program Information
In an effort to provide transparency to families, staff, and the community the following information is provided by the Technology Department to answer commonly asked questions or issues addressed regarding the 1:1 Chromebook program. The questions and answers provided are not all-encompassing and do not address all situations that arise. Issues arising regarding damage to Chromebooks and discipline involving behavior with a Chromebook are addressed in consultation with school administration and the technology staff. Please contact your student(s)' school front office with any questions as a first step in having any questions answered.
We encourage you to review this information with your student(s) so that they may have a clear understanding of what is expected of them while using their Chromebooks.
- What do Chromebook fees pay for?
- How are Chromebook damages handled?
- What can be expected if a fee is assessed to a student's account?
- What if a student loses their charger?
- When and how are Chromebooks assigned?
- We need to return a Chromebook, how do we do that?
- What if I want my student to use his or her own Chromebook?
- What is a "Day User"?
- I don't want my student to have a Chromebook, what do we do about that?
- How is student safety and their use of the Chromebook monitored?
- What are the expectations for how students should care for their Chromebooks?
- What can families expect to be charged for certain repairs if a student damages their Chromebook?
- What if a Chromebook is lost or stolen?
Chromebook fees are charged to all students that use a district-provided Chromebook. Middle and high school students are charged $37 and elementary students are charged $17 because their Chromebooks remain in carts in the classroom, whereas middle and high school students take theirs home. The fees are used to cover three major components of the 1:1 Chromebook program across the district:
- Cover part of the cost of wear and tear and damages to Chromebooks (see below for more information about accidental damage and repair costs)
- Help defray the cost of the Google Workspace for Education licenses that are required for each user in order for the district to manage the Chromebooks using Google’s software
- Cover the cost of licenses for Lightspeed Classroom (see below for more information about this program) to help teachers monitor student Chromebook use
Any and all damage should be reported immediately to the student's teacher; if the damage occurs outside of school, it should be reported as soon as possible.
When your student’s Chromebook is damaged, they turn it in to the Help Desk (at the high school), the Tech Office (at the middle school), or to their teacher/the library (at elementary schools). The student is then issued a loaner Chromebook until the repair is completed. For all intents and purposes, a loaner Chromebook is considered the student’s until their assigned Chromebook is returned. That means any damages to the loaner will be handled as if it was the student’s assigned device.
Included in your student’s annual Chromebook fee is coverage for the first accidental damage during the duration it is assigned to the student. This means that if a student accidentally damages his or her Chromebook in sixth grade, the repair will be covered at no additional charge to the student/family. However, since middle and high school students are issued one Chromebook--that the student keeps from one year to the next--for the duration of their time as a student in each building, this means that if that same student’s Chromebook is damaged in seventh grade, it will not be covered under the accidental damage component of the fee. Any damages beyond the first accidental damage of the year/life of the device will be billed to the student/family.
Damages that are intentional or the result of obvious negligence or abuse of the device are NOT covered by the accidental damage component of the fee. In cases where the damage is not accidental or covered by the fee, students/families will be charged. This is done to help keep the cost of fees low for all families, especially for those students/families that do not damage Chromebooks. Some examples of obvious negligence include:
- the device is damaged while the student is using it inappropriately, even if the student did not intend to damage the device
- if it is damaged as the result of a student that is not the assigned owner of the device intentionally putting their hands on the device, even if they were “just playing around” with a friend.
In cases where a student reports that the damage was the result of a peer’s actions, that allegation is investigated by the school administration and if verified, the student responsible for the damage is billed for the repair. If it cannot be verified, the incident will be covered as accidental damage or billed to the student/family based on the policy outlined here.
While it is understandable that something may accidentally spill on a Chromebook, students are asked to not drink or eat when using their Chromebook. Spills often result in damage to the system board that renders the device unusable. As such, any spills that result in damage rendering the Chromebook unusable will be charged to the student/family regardless of whether it is a first accidental damage or not.
Some damages can only be the result of an deliberate/intentional acts. These include:
- picking keys off of the keyboard
- removing the district’s asset tracking label(s) from the device, or removing the manufacturer's label.
These labels include information that is very important for technology staff and students to ensure the device being turned in is the device that is assigned to the student and in some cases, the manufacturer’s label is needed to address warranty claims. Removal of these labels is only accomplished via a student deliberately tampering with the label.
- writing or carving on the device can only occur intentionally and will be treated and billed as such
- placing anything on the device that is intended to function like a sticker that is not a school appropriate sticker will be deemed to be vandalism.
This past year we had a number of devices turned in that had foil gum wrappers pressed into the finely textured top covers of devices. It is impossible to entirely remove damage such as this and students/families will be charged for the replacement of the part(s) affected.
Students/families that have not paid the required fee and have not had it waived will be charged for all repairs, unless/until the fee is paid.
All students are issued a charger when they are initially assigned their Chromebook.
However, over the course of three or four years, it is entirely plausible that an adolescent would lose track of his or her charger. It is also entirely plausible (and very common) that they would come to the Help Desk or Tech Office and insist they were never issued a charger, despite the fact they had a fully charged Chromebook at school everyday prior to reporting the charger missing midyear. Students requesting a new charger will be charged for one. However, families are able to purchase a replacement charger (compatible with a Lenovo 100e Chromebook) from Amazon for often better prices than we can offer.
If a charger is damaged, it will be replaced as accidental damage, provided the damaged charger is returned to the Help Desk (HCHS) or the Tech Office (MS). If a student is not issued a charger when the device is issued, they should report this immediately.
At HCMS, Chromebooks are assigned to students at the beginning of sixth grade. Students that participate in Jumpstart prior to school beginning will receive their Chromebooks at that time. Otherwise, they will be assigned to students on the first day of school. HCMS students are expected to care for and use the device assigned in sixth grade until they finish eighth grade, at which time they are collected. The first accidental damage during this duration is covered by the student fee. Any further damages or non-accidental damages will be billed to the student/family (see section about damage to Chromebooks)
At HCHS, Chromebooks are assigned to students at the beginning of ninth grade (and for 2023-2024, 10th graders as well). Like middle school students, they are expected to care for and use the same Chromebook until graduation. The first accidental damage during this duration is covered by the student fee. Any further damages or non-accidental damages will be billed to the student/family (see section about damage to Chromebooks).
Elementary school Chromebooks are stored in carts in each classroom. Beginning this year, students will be assigned one specific device from their classroom’s cart to use each day. This will take place after school has begun. This will help with holding elementary students accountable for taking good care of their Chromebooks, just as HCMS and HCHS students are.
HCMS and HCHS families have the option of providing their own device for their student(s) to use. These students are referred to as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Families electing to participate as BYOD students are 100% responsible for all costs and repairs associated with their device. The district will not repair damaged BYOD devices.
Families that participate as BYOD are NOT required to pay the $37 Chromebook fee. However, if at any time, the parent wishes the student to use a school Chromebook (aside from State KSA testing in May) they will need to pay the fee before being issued a Chromebook.
BYOD students will be assigned a school Chromebook at no cost to be used only in the testing room during KSA testing in May.
Elementary students are NOT eligible to participate in BYOD.
Day users are students at HCMS and HCHS that are not allowed to take their Chromebook home after school. These devices remain in assigned locations in the Day User Carts in the libraries at HCMS and HCHS. Students can be day users for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, parent request or as a consequence for inappropriate behavior on their Chromebook. Families wishing for their student to be a day user should reach out directly to the front office at HCMS or HCHS.
Chromebooks are required as a part of the curriculum for all students. Students are no longer issued textbooks and therefore a substantial part of the curriculum they are exposed to is delivered via the Chromebook and there is no substitute for having access to the digital content provided by the Chromebook. In fact, the district has made a substantial investment in software and applications like Amplify Science and ELA and Desmos that provide a rich, engaging means of delivering content. For instance, in Amplify Science, all units have embedded simulations in which students can conduct experiments–otherwise inaccessible to them–using their Chromebook. An example is the sixth grade unit on weather that provides students an opportunity to modify different variables like sunlight, wind, and humidity in a virtual environment to explore how those changes impact the weather. Opportunities like this just simply aren’t available without the Chromebook.
Common reasons that families express when they desire their student not have a Chromebook include not trusting their student with either the care of the Chromebook or being safe online, worrying about the amount of screen time, or that students aren’t going to develop the same skills adults did when “we” were the students in school.
To address the first concern, we want to assure you that we are committed–as a district, individual schools, and staff–to making sure students develop responsible skills for caring for the Chromebook as well as making sure they are safe online. There are several precautions (discussed in the section on safety and monitoring below) in place to monitor student use of the internet as well as communications with others. If a family has a concern about their student’s Chromebook use, we encourage them to reach out directly to the school and to work with the administration to find a solution that allays any parent concerns while ensuring students still have access to the full curriculum in class. All school administrations are willing to partner with families to help build healthy boundaries and skills as they pertain to safety and responsibility with Chromebooks and on the internet.
To relieve the second concern listed above, we want families to know that students still spend large portions of their day without a Chromebook in front of them. They still engage in hands-on learning, writing on worksheets, note taking, and otherwise using fine motor skills, as well as PE, music, and art classes, and recess. If you have a concern about your student’s screen time, we encourage you to open a dialogue with them about how much they are using their Chromebook at school but just as importantly, at home as well. As the student’s parent/guardian, you are welcome to set your own boundaries on when, where, and for how long they can use their Chromebook while at home.
By law, all schools are required to have in place safeguards against students being able to access obscene or pornographic content online. In the state of Kentucky, the solution put in place and provided by the state is a product called Lightspeed Filter. This filter allows technology staff to review student web and search history as well as fine tune settings about the content that is blocked for the district and groups of students. As an example, we can block specific terms from being searched on Google and other search engines. If a student searches for the word “booty” for example, a screen appears stating that the search term has been blocked. Additionally, students can have access restricted from sites that are non-academic in nature. For instance, we have a number of students that teachers have requested be blocked from accessing YouTube because it is a distraction to the student during class. Devices are filtered on school premises and off, 24/7/365.
Any requests for restricting student access should be first directed to the school administration.
As an additional monitoring measure, schools are utilizing a companion product provided by Lightspeed called Classroom Management. This application allows teachers to monitor–in real-time–student activity on devices. However, school administrations strongly discourage teachers from using that feature exclusively, as it takes away instruction, and instead encourage them to use the features that let each teacher set a specific list of allowed websites for use during that class period or portion of the class period. For instance, a teacher can set a rules list that will only allow students in her classroom to access Amplify ELA if that is the content the students are assigned to be working on at that time. If a student attempts to visit any other site, a notification stating that site has been blocked by the teacher will appear.
Lastly, there are some measures the Technology Department can take to limit access to certain Google features such as Gmail and Google Meet. Again, any requests for restricting student access should be first directed to the school administration.
- When not in use at school or at home, the Chromebook should be closed and left on a sturdy flat surface, if not in a backpack. Backpacks should not be left in a location where they may be kicked, stepped on or dropped as this may result in damage to the Chromebook.
- When moving around the classroom or in the halls, the Chromebook should be closed and carried under the student’s arm or in his or her backpack. Students should not walk around with the Chromebook open and holding it by either the bottom or the top of the screen.
- Students should not watch videos or play games on the Chromebook if they are not seated. Students should not watch videos or listen to music with their Chromebook while walking through the halls between classes or around the classroom.
- Students should only touch and use their own assigned Chromebook.
- Avoid using any part of the screen to carry the Chromebook.
- Students should not pick or pull at the keys, labels, or bezel surrounding the screen.
- Report damaged or lost Chromebooks immediately to a teacher.
- Ensure the student’s Chromebook is plugged in to charge at the end of each day.
- Chromebooks should only be used as a computer. Don’t use the Chromebook for any other purpose other than assigned work and things that computers are designed to do.
- Other than school appropriate, decorative stickers, students are not to put or mark anything else on the Chromebook.
- Do not eat or drink around the Chromebook.
As you can see from the list of charges for common Chromebook repairs below, oftentimes just one accidental damage to a Chromebook can add up to more than three or four years worth of Chromebook fees, especially if more than one part needs to be replaced. We encourage you to share this list with your student(s) and discuss with them the importance of taking good care of their Chromebook.
|Cleaning vandalized device||$10 or the cost of the replacement part, if replaced|
Damaged system board, device still functional
|$200 or cost of new device depending on nature of any other damage|
Lost Chromebooks will be charged the cost of replacing the device.
Chromebooks that are damaged/totaled as the result of an accident (for example a car accident or a house fire) will be replaced or repaired without charge, provided a copy of the insurance claim is presented to the technology office to verify the nature of the loss.
Chromebooks that are stolen must be reported to law enforcement. Without a copy of the police report stating that the device was stolen and that it was reported as such, students/families will be charged the cost of replacement.