I hope that everyone is enjoying a safe and productive summer. Our staff has been hard at work preparing for another fantastic year in BCSS. We are especially excited about the opportunity to provide Chromebook devices for our students to enhance learning experiences across the district. As you can imagine, educational resources and content are increasingly available online and/or in a digital format. Additionally, our students have conveyed their preference for having devices available to them both at school and while away from campus.
Thus, students in grades three through twelve will receive personal learning devices soon after the start of the new school year. Students will be assigned a device that they will keep for the duration of their experience in elementary school, middle school, and high school. For example, each student will be issued a device in third grade and will maintain possession of the device through fifth grade. At the conclusion of fifth grade, students will return the device and receive another one at the start of sixth grade. They will maintain the same device throughout middle school and receive another device upon enrollment at JHS. Students in Kindergarten through Second grade will have devices to use while at school; however, these devices will primarily remain in the classroom.
Knowing that accidents do sometimes occur, it will be important for us to have an accidental damage protection plan in place. The Butts County School system will partner with families to offer accidental damage protection (ADP) for $15.00 which is due upon receiving the device and will cover the device for the duration of the time a student maintains possession of that specific Chromebook. A new ($15.00) ADP payment will be required as a student transitions from elementary school to middle school and once more when transitioning to high school. If a device is in need of repair due to accidental damage, a loaner device will be issued to a student while the repair is in progress. The ADP fee represents a collaborative partnership between the school and families to encourage students to be careful and responsible stewards of this educational tool.
In preparation for the implementation of this initiative, we invite you to review the information available on our website. This information will also be available at Open House. In order to ensure the success of this initiative, it will be imperative that we partner together to encourage our students to be good digital citizens and responsible stewards to this resource. After reviewing the information and completing the user agreement, we will move forward equipping students with similar information during the first ten days of school. The target date to complete this process is Friday, August 13.
Additionally, for families wishing to complete the check-out process in person, The Butts County School System will be hosting a “Chromebook information session” to assist parents/guardians with specific details pertaining to how to operate Chromebooks and to answer questions you may have pertaining to this initiative. The “Chromebook information sessions” will take place on the following dates:
- August 16th- 5:00 - 7:00 PM at Jackson High School
- August 17th- 5:00- 7:00 PM at Henderson Middle School
- August 19th- 5:30 - 7:00 PM at Daughtry, Jackson, and Stark Elementary
This is an exciting opportunity for our students and teachers to have this resource available for enriching the educational experience. I continue to be amazed at the creativity and the level of comfort our students possess when it comes to maximizing the benefits of technology. This is an important and necessary step in preparing our students to achieve success in a world that is increasingly saturated with digital content and virtual opportunities. However, the computer can never replace the impact of highly skilled and caring professionals, mentors and family members. Instructional Technology or technology in general is just a tool, much like a book, or a microscope, or a protractor. Each of these tools can have limited impact unless accompanied by instruction and guidance from a highly qualified and caring teacher, mentor, or loved one. It’s important to remember that such tools can certainly enhance the delivery of instruction…but it should never replace it.
Again please be sure to peruse the information associated with this initiative by clicking on the links above.
We are convinced that with your support, this initiative will provide our educators and students significant access to the rich world of digital content and a powerful tool to enable students as they demonstrate mastery of learning.
As always, if you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school. We stand ready to assist. We thank you for your continued support of Butts County Schools.
Dr. Todd Simpson
Butts County School System