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Computer and Internet - Important Needs For the School Year

Knowing that remote learning will be a significant part of your child’s education for the 2020-21 school year, it is important that students have access to a laptop at home for learning. We will continue to provide as many loaner laptops and Wi-Fi hot spots to households in need of them, and we’ve ordered an additional 5,000 laptops knowing technology is a critical need.

As part of online registration there is an opportunity to indicate your student's technology needs for the 2020-21 school year:

Our current technology levy funds laptops at a ratio of 4:1.  The additional 5000 laptops we recently purchased gets us closer to a 2:1 ratio, and based on our surveys, this means we will be able to fulfill most of our students’ computer needs. This doesn’t get us to 1:1, but it does help increase the number of laptops we can loan to our students.

Here are multiple ways we are working to address this critical need:

  • We will help ensure each household that needs a laptop receives one. The district ordered 5,000 more laptops. This doesn’t get us to 1:1, but it does help increase the number of laptops we can loan to our students.
  • Knowing there may be multiple children in one household, we are working on plans for the school day so that elementary and secondary schedules are alternating as much as possible.
  • Local community member Gerald Smiley reached out to FWPS to see how his organization, Chip-in, could help. His effort will help raise money toward the 5,000 laptops the district is purchasing for students with 100% of the proceeds going towards this effort. More information here:
  • We are encouraging families to purchase a laptop for their child if they haven’t yet, and if they can afford to do so. There are some inexpensive options out there, including low cost refurbished laptops. Below is a list of local vendors that provide refurbished devices as well as minimum specifications for a desktop or laptop.

Vendors providing refurbished devices:

The desktop or laptop is recommended to have the following minimum specifications:

  • Chromebook: Google OS 80, Celeron, 4gb RAM, 8 gigs storage minimum, Wi-Fi
  • Windows: Windows 10,128 gig hard drive, 8 gigs of ram, Wi-Fi, with Pentium, Celeron or i3

Low-cost internet resources: