|Frequently Asked Questions
1. How will this initiative help my son/daughter academically?
2. How will the school measure the success of this initiative?
3. How will the District pay for such an expensive initiative?
4. How much will I need to pay for my student’s laptop?
5. Will parents/guardians receive training on this equipment?
6. When will my son/daughter receive his/her laptop?
7. What will students do with their laptops if they are not bringing it home?
8. How do I know if I am violating copyright laws?
9. Will students be able to take the computers home?
10. What kind of Internet Connection do I need?
11. What if I don’t have Internet at home?
12. My child already has a computer at home, why do I need another one?
13. What if a student’s computer is lost or stolen?
14. How will technical issues and repairs be handled?
15. Will the school’s content filter work when I’m on the Internet at home?
16. What are the consequences for misusing the computer?
17. What if the student forgets their computer?
18. Can students connect their own digital devices (cameras, ipod, etc.) to the laptop?
19. What if the battery on my laptop dies during the school day?
20. What are 21st Century Skills and why does my child need them?
21. What is the process for paying for repairs or replacement?
22. Is the Technology Service Fee reimbursable?
23. What does weather conditions mean when referring to damages to the laptop?
1. Q: How will this initiative help my son/daughter academically?
A: The current generation of students expects a learning environment that integrates today’s digital tools, accommodates a mobile lifestyle, adapts to individual learning styles, and encourages collaboration and teamwork. Through the use of technology, the 21st Century Learning Initiative will meet these expectations and will impact the learning process by improving student engagement, achievement, accountability, and acquisition of 21st Century Skills. The Initiative is not designed to completely replace traditional teaching methods and interactions, but to enhance instructional strategies through the effective use of technology and 21st Century teaching methods. Moreover, this Initiative will improve educational access, participation, and communication by all students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other key members of the educational community.
2. Q: How will the school measure the success of this initiative?
A: Teachers, administrators, and other professional staff will evaluate the success of this Initiative through numerous measurement strategies. They will use the results of standardized tests such as PSSA, SAT, PSAT, AP, ASVAB, and ACT. Rubrics for student work, products, and performances will be created to evaluate individual successes on assignments. In addition, they will examine student technology assessments, pass/fail and drop-out rates, attendance and discipline statistics, local demographic and employment statistics, and college application and retention statistics.
3. Q: How will the District pay for such an expensive initiative?
A: The District has evaluated purchasing and leasing our equipment. The District decided that leasing equipment is much more fiscally responsible than purchasing for the initiative. Leasing will allow the District to update their equipment every two years. Switching to the initiative will add about 100 laptops on top of what the high school uses. Leasing the equipment provides the District with fiscal flexibility, and insures the students are using up to date computers.
4. Q: How much will I need to pay for my student’s laptop?
A: The laptops have already been leased by the Forest City Regional School District; the equipment will remain the property of The Forest City Regional School District at all times and is on loan to the student. If the student’s equipment is lost, the parent/guardian will be charged the full replacement cost of that equipment. In the event of accidental, negligent, malicious, or willful damage to the equipment, the parent/guardian will be responsible for repairs or replacing the equipment at full cost. The estimate cost for common replacement parts is as follows:
Hard Drive: $50.00
Top Case with Keyboard $30.00
LCD Screen $75.00
AC Power Adaptor $25.00
Laptop Case $21.00
Replacement Computer $490.00
Parents/Guardians are advised to consult their homeowner’s insurance provider to see if their policy covers damages to, theft of, and/or loss of laptop computers.
5. Q: Will parents/guardians receive training on this equipment?
A: When school starts, parents/guardians should attend training sessions at Forest City Regional High School. To accommodate parent/guardian work schedules, there will be several sessions offered throughout the first months of school. Sessions will take place in the evening and during the school day. In order for a student to receive his/her laptop , we recommend the parent/guardian attend orientation session. The training will cover a variety of general skills such as utilizing the computer, caring for the computer, appropriate computer use, accessing the Internet, aspects of this program and other basic skills.
6. Q: When will my son/daughter receive his/her laptop?
A: Students will receive their laptops within the first two weeks of school beginning. The laptops will be available for use throughout the school day; however, in order for a student to take the laptop home, both the student and a parent/guardian must sign an Acceptable Use of Technology and Equipment Loan Agreement and complete the orientation program.
7. Q: What will students do with their laptops if they are not bringing it home?
A: We are hopeful that participation rates are very high and that students welcome the opportunity to have a laptop at home. If a student does not have the privilege of taking their laptop home, they must take it to the library at the end of the school day where it will be stored and charged in a cart. If a student is temporarily leaving their laptop at school, they should make arrangements with a teacher to store it in a cart.
8. Q: How do I know if I am violating copyright laws?
A: In accordance with FCRSD Policy No. 814 (Copyright Material), improperly documented use of copyrighted material in any format will be deemed as plagiarism resulting in appropriate disciplinary action. Policy 814 states: “the United States Code makes it illegal for anyone to duplicate copyrighted materials without permission…severe penalties are provided for unauthorized copying of audio, visual, or printed materials unless the copying falls within the bounds of the ‘fair use’ doctrine. Under the ‘fair use’ doctrine, unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted materials is permissible for such purposes as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.” For more information on the District’s Copyright Material policy, consult Policy No. 814.
9. Q: Will students be able to take the computers home?
A: Yes. Students will be able to take their computers home to work on assignments and projects and to encourage continuous communication with teachers and classmates regarding those assignments and projects. However, in order for a student to take the laptop home, both the student and a parent/guardian must sign an Acceptable Use of Technology and Equipment Loan Agreement and complete an orientation program offered at the start of each school year.
10. Q: What kind of Internet connection do I need?
A: In order to access the Internet on a District laptop, you will need a broadband Internet connection (such as DSL or Cable). You can use either Ethernet connection or wireless connection with these laptops. These machines will not be able to access the Internet with a dial-up connection.
11. Q: What if I don’t have Internet at home?
A: Home Internet access it is not necessary for participation in this program. The District understands that not all members of our community are able to receive DSL or Cable Internet at this time due to an absence of these services in their area or personal choice not to have the Internet in their home. As part of the 21st Century Technology Initiative, we are actively working to build partnerships with community organizations to provide wireless Internet access in locations such as churches, businesses, and other public places. A committee of administrators, District staff, parents, and community members are communicating with local government and Internet Service Providers (such as NEP and Adams Cable) to extend broadband access to more areas within the Forest City Regional School District. The Forest City Regional High School’s wireless Internet access is available while the building is open; students will be able to use their District laptops to access the Internet in this way if a broadband connection is not available at home. Teachers will adjust assignments and strategies to reflect the limited availability of broadband access in our area, encouraging students to use the Internet while at school (when needed) and use the software at home to complete their tasks. Students are encouraged to be resourceful, using Study Halls and Activity Periods wisely and planning accordingly if Internet access is needed to complete an assignment and it is not available at home. Teachers will need to be flexible and understanding when requiring students to use the Internet for research or to complete assignments. Adequate time will have to be provided in school for activities requiring the Internet.
12. Q: My child already has a computer at home, why do I need another one?
A: Learning environments such as the one created by the 21st Century Technology Initiative work best when the school owns the computer but the student has it for educational purposes at his/her disposal. Having the District own the computer allows the District to control what the computer is used for, both as a reward and as a motivation for mature and responsible use of the tool. Teachers and support staff need to know that the computer has the expected software loaded and working, so that they can fully embrace a change in the learning environment that pervasive computing technology offers them.
13. Q: What if a student’s computer is lost or stolen?
A: If the student’s equipment is lost, the parent/guardian may be charged the full replacement cost of the equipment. The cost to the District for each laptop is $450. In the case of a stolen computer, an official police report regarding the theft may be required to relieve the student, parent/guardian of liability. Parents/Guardians are advised to consult their homeowner’s insurance provider to see if their policy covers damages to, theft of, and/or loss of laptop computers.
14. Q: How will technical issues and repairs be handled?
A: If you or your student experience technical difficulties with the equipment supplied by the School District, there will be a number of support systems in place to assist you. For example, the District website is enabled with a call ticket system that will help track equipment repairs, ensuring efficient support and service. In addition, students will have access to the District IT Department, Email Support (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Telephone Support (570-785-2432).
15. Q: Will the school’s content filter work when I’m on the Internet at home?
A: Yes. In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), FCRSD filters Internet content accessed using the school network. To increase the usefulness of the equipment, there will be Internet content filtering on the laptop when it is used at home. Parental supervision is expected while the District equipment is being used at home in adherence of FCRSD Acceptable Use of the Technology (Policy No. 815). Individuals are also accountable for content accessed and downloaded at home and brought into the school network. Whether on school property or at home, students and parents/guardians are expected to adhere to the Acceptable Use of the Internet as outlined in FCRSD Policy No. 815 while using School District technology and equipment. Inappropriate, unauthorized, and illegal use of the Internet or District e-mail service will result in the cancellation of those privileges and appropriate disciplinary action.
16. Q: What are the consequences for misusing the computer?
A: Any violation of the terms and conditions of FCRSD policies shall make the violator subject both to termination from the use of technological resources and to discipline through the school code of conduct, where applicable. In some instances, as deemed necessary by the appropriate disciplinary channels, violation of these terms and conditions may result in removal of a student’s at-home use of District technology without removal of in-school technology use. At the teacher’s discretion, a warning may be given in the case of minor infractions. In cases of extreme or illegal violations, legal action may be taken against the student and/or other participants through the crimes code.
17. Q: What if the student forgets their computer?
A: Few schools engaged in this type of Initiative have reported this as a problem. Truly, the students so value the opportunity that the change affords them, and the fact that they keep their “entire life” on their computer, means they rarely forget them. But should it happen, the way we structure the program includes spare laptops kept in the IT Department, so students have immediate access to all the same tools and network access to any data they’ve backed up to our file servers. In the classroom, this will most likely be handled in much the same way as a forgotten textbook of homework assignment. Students should always be prepared for class with the necessary materials needed for class work.
18. Q: Can students connect their own digital devices (cameras, iPod, etc.) to the laptop?
A: Connecting these devices to the computer is usually very simple, and the functionality expected is likely to be exactly what you’ll get. We have the ability to restrict what is connected to the computer and may use this capability if a student uses it inappropriately. This will need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.