In August Jeffco Public Schools will begin getting a touchscreen device into the hands of every student, from fifth grade and up. The initiative will take four years to implement for all fifth-12th …
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In August Jeffco Public Schools will begin getting a touchscreen device into the hands of every student, from fifth grade and up.
The initiative will take four years to implement for all fifth-12th grade students. The program will use a combination of 5A funding and a yearly student technology usage fee. The $50 fee will cover the device, digital learning tools, teacher professional learning, internet filtering and bandwidth. All free and reduced eligible students will have their fees covered with 5A funding.
In an attempt not to leave first- through fourth-graders out, the district will be looking for ways to fund devices for them.
With $4.2 million dollars of 5A money allocated to be spent on 1:1 devices, the goal is to provide equity and consistency across the district while providing authentic, relevant and engaging learning experiences for students and to prepare them to thrive in a connected digital world.
Schools will have the option to choose between an iPad or a touch screen Chromebook. This is different from the original proposal the board heard last month, which included non-touch devices.
“To me, the hardware is the easy part of the question,” boardmember Brad Rupert said at the Feb. 13 study session. “And it’s a little surprising to me that we’re giving the choice of Chromebooks or Apples.”
Superintendent Dr. Jason Glass said the option honors Jeffco’s tradition of school-based decision making.
“If we’re thinking about a Chrome vs. Apple environment, the lines are blurred there all the time,” Glass said. “Five years from now, who knows what the next version is going to be. So, I think it’s important we are flexible.”
All schools in the same high school area will agree on a consistent device type, maintaining consistency for students that will transition to higher grade levels. Area school leadership will also determine how devices are distributed within that area.
The program will be rolled out in three phases beginning in August. Phase two is planned for November, with phase three in January.
Phases will be determined by school readiness, meaning those that already have a device program in place will be in the first phase.
Schools have not yet been assigned to a phase. From now until March, district staff will be working with schools to work on community engagement and determine which schools fall into the first phase of implementation.
Throughout the summer, a variety of teacher training will begin.
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