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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, middle and high school 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: