The Flagler County School Board this fall is launching a a five-year, $20.5 million plan to provide an individualized iPad or a Macbook to every single Flagler County student from grade four and up by the 2017-18 school year. This year (2013-14) the district is giving every high school student a Macbook Air, unless students or parents opt out. So-called “deployment” nights are scheduled at FPC and Matanzas High later this month. The following is the district’s own Frequently Asked Questions about the initiative.
Q. When will the laptops be signed out to the students?
Parents and Students must attend one of the following scheduled deployment nights.
11th and 12th Grade Students:
MHS – September 23rd and 24th.
FPCHS – September 30th, October 1st and 2nd
9th and 10th Grade Students:
MHS – October 3rd and 7th
FPCHS – October 8th , 9th, and 10th.
Any Parents that were unable to attend the above dates may attend a deployment night at the Government Services Building on October 14th.
Q. Does a parent have to be present to pick up the device.
Q. When can I fill out the required forms?
The required forms will be available online one week before the first deployment night. Parents are encouraged to print and bring the forms with them to save time. The required forms will be available at the scheduled deployment nights.
Q. Is there a website where the required forms can be downloaded?
The required forms will be available on the District site www.FlaglerSchools.com/Digital-Learning following final approval by the School Board.
Q. Can the forms be submitted early?
No, The completed forms must be brought to one of the scheduled deployment nights.
Q. What all comes with the Macbook or iPad?
The Macbook or iPad will come with a power cord as well as a case.
Q. If my child already has their own personal device, do they need this one also?
Yes, the District supplied device will still be needed. Some of the required classroom software will only be available on the supplied device.
Q. What is the Annual Liability Fee?
Each school year there will be a $50 non-refundable fee per student.
Q. What will the Liability Fee cover?
The fees collected will be used as part of the laptop repair and replacement program.
Q. What if I am unable to afford the Annual Liability Fee?
Families with a financial hardship may complete a Proof of Financial Hardship Form. Parents that qualify for the National School Lunch Program will be eligible for a reduced Liability Fee of $20 for free lunch and $30 for reduced lunch.
Q. What if a parent does not want the laptop to come home?
There is an Opt-Out form, but parents are encouraged to try it first. Many students will respect the laptop or tablet and accept the responsibility.
Q. Will students be required to bring the laptop to class everyday?
Students must bring their device to all classes, everyday unless specifically instructed not to do so by their teacher.
Q. What if my child forgets to bring their laptop to school.
Students are expected to bring their fully charged laptops to school everyday. A limited number of laptops may be available for checkout for the day.
Q. What if my child forgets to charge the battery?
A limited number of power outlets will be available in some classrooms.
Q. Will my child be issued the same laptop next year?
Yes. The District will make every attempt to issue the student the same laptop each year.
Q. How will Flagler Schools prevent access to inappropriate websites?
The laptops will include Internet content filtering software, which will limit access to inappropriate content, but there is no substitute for parental supervision when using a device to access the Internet.
Q. Can I use the issued computer for things not related to school?
It is expected that use of the supplied device be directly related to the assigned student’s education. The Digital Learning Handbook contains additional information related to appropriate use.
Q. Can students load software on the laptop?
Not at this time, but in the future this will be made available on a limited basis.
Q. What happens if the laptop is stolen?
A police report must be filed by the student or parent within 48 hours of the incident. The police report must be brought to the school principal by the next school day. If the police report is not delivered to school principal the parent will be responsible for the full replacement cost.
Q. What if my question has not been answered?
Parents or students or readers may submit questions to the district at this page.
Will students be able to keep the laptops checked out over the summers?
Don’t over look the other FlaglerLive report regarding Orange Count…”Earlier this week, three high school students were robbed at gunpoint of their Macbook Air laptops at a bus stop in Ocoee, in Orange County. The computers had been issued to the students as part of a pilot program.”
Jon Hardison says
Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about this. To mandate that we take on the responsibility of a Laptop is a little odd. I love the fact that the machines are available for those that might need them, but what about those that don’t?
Will the software that the schools will presumably require be available to download on computers students already own? What will that software do? Will it be tracking other computer / network use? What, if any, information will be transmitted to the school and under what circumstances?
What provisions have been made for students or families that prefer Linux or Windows?
What security measures has the school implemented on each Laptop to 1) prevent tampering, and b) track use and or location data?
I’ll be taking my son out of town for almost two weeks later this year. It is unclear how the school will require him to do school work while he’s away. Will he be expected to take this Laptop with him? What if it’s stolen on the trip? I won’t be able to hand them their police report by the next day.
To be honest, I’d be a little concerned about having a county asset on our network at home without knowing every detail of their security schema.
Mixed feelings for sure. :-)
Florida Native says
Not sure why they bought Apple products which are the most expensive computers on the planet. Yes I do. It’s Flagler County.
Public schools across the country choose Apple products because they’re safe, and free of virus ridden software. They’re almost immune.
and they are not the most expensive. I own more expensive.
Kathy, They were probably taking them out and playing with them at the bus stop. obviously parents should advise their children to take responsibility and put them away and out of sight.