UNION COUNTY — This year’s freshmen at Union County High School will each receive a laptop computer that they will not only be able to use this year in the classroom and at home but also each year for the rest of high school.
The Union County School District Technology Department will distribute laptops to the students who will be 9th graders (freshmen) at Union County High School for the 2017-2018 school year. The laptops will be distributed Tuesday, Aug. 8 and Wednesday, Aug. 9 at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day in the UCHS Cafetorium.
District Technology Director Tim Barnado said that the computers will be Dell touch screen laptops that will each have a number apps already installed but which can have apps added to them later from the Technology Department office. Barnado said that the apps include Microsoft Team which will allow a teacher to assign students their lessons and the students can in turn submit their work electronically. He said there will also be reference apps that students can use in all their classes.
While the laptops themselves are free, Barnado said the district will be collecting a $50 insurance fee for each laptop. Barnado said the insurance will cover anything that happens to the laptop short of it being lost. He said while they are not required to get the insurance, Barnado said that those that don’t get the insurance will be responsible for anything that happens to the laptop.
In the past, teachers were able to check laptops out for their students to use in the classroom, but the students could not take them home with them to do homework and research. Barnado said that this meant students who needed to use a computer outside the classroom for homework and research would have to, for example, go to the library to do so.
“This provides a little continuity between the class and the home,” Barnado said. “Giving out the laptops provides a continuity of education by allowing the students to have the device at home to do what they need to do.”
Barnado said that there will be approximately 315 ninth grade students at Union County High School for the 2017-2018 school year and that each will receive a laptop they will use not only their freshman year but each year they are in high school at UCHS. Furthermore, Barnado said that each year from now on each freshman class will receive laptops that they will use during the school year each of their years in high school.
“They will have to turn them in at the end of the year, but our goal is when they come back next year as 10th grade students to hand them the same computer,” Barnado said. “The board put funding for this in the budget for this school year and going forward our plan is to get another batch of computers for next year and so on.”
Charles Warner can be contacted at 864-762-4090.