One-to-one slated for September


Photo Credit: Janice Lee

HP Elitebook 820 touchscreen laptops are hoping to be released to the students by September 2017.

by Janice Lee, Staff Writer

The new Board of Education members anticipate a successful launch of the one-to-one laptop initiative by September 2017.

Their original plan for each student to have a personal laptop by September 2016 was delayed due to budgetary constrictions.

This multi-year plan was first introduced when teachers began involving technology in their lesson plans.

Principal John Arlotta explained, “Our schedule changed to accommodate this as longer periods lent better to this approach. The BYOD and WiFi was a first step and we see a one-to-one laptop initiative as the next likely progression.”

The plan was to issue teachers laptops the year prior, which occurred, and then have the students be issued the same laptop. Currently, the teachers have the HP EliteBook touchscreen laptops. Although the time-frame is off from the original plan, the Board of Education intends to follow the same strategy.

Students will be able to have access to these laptops both in school and at home. The plan is for a three year lease. Students would return these laptops by the end of each school year so that they can be updated. This plan depends on the budget which the Board of Education started working on and it will be finalized on April. The total cost for this program is $250,000.

Elizabeth Carr, a Board of Education member, said, “At the recommendation of Dr. Regan and her committee, laptops are preferable over tablets. So, if we can fit it into the budget and if the trustees agree to it, then it will be for September.”

There are many advantages to students having personal laptops. One of those benefits, said Carr, is bringing kids into 21st century education. Students would have better access to school technology at home and be able to use their laptops, loaded with special software, in the classroom.

“Everybody who is taking math would have the same loaded software so if a teacher wants to pull up a website, all she has to say is pull up this and everybody would have the same information,” Carr explained.

Students would thus have access to the same materials as teachers, which makes the learning process more collaborative and hands-on.

Arlotta believes that this strategy is imperative for preparing students for the next steps in their educations, as well.

“We think this is a more cost effective approach, which will put a computer into each students’ hand 24/7. Also, we think this is an integral piece in preparing our students for college and career readiness,” he said.

Students do need to be aware of the responsibilities such laptops will entail, however. If a student breaks a laptop during the school year, then the student’s family will be charged for the repair cost.

Angelina Monti, a freshman, thinks it would be a great idea for students to have their own personal laptops.

“It would be better for the environment, and teachers could be more consistent with assigning work online if they knew that every student has a computer in school and at home,” Monti said.

Aileen Ryan, a sophomore, also thinks that getting students their own laptops is a great idea.

“Everything is being done on computers these days and by having a computer to take notes on the amount of things each student carries gets cut down. Texts, books, binders, pens, etc. would not be needed anymore. Plus if you forget it at school, you can access what you did through your home computer,” Ryan said.

Other equivalent high achieving districts like Ridgewood, Westwood and River Dell have offered students personal laptops for years.

“Personally speaking I think Glen Rock is behind in their technology specifically one to one we are behind,” Carr said.

Personal laptops for students would put both the students and teachers lives at ease.

“We feel that access to technology can only benefit and enhance the type of learning and preparation we all desire. So we are hopeful this will be launched for September 2017,” Arlotta said.