One-to-One Laptop Program commences in grades 9 through 11

Students in grades 9 through 11 have received a Dell laptop, charger, and case from the district.

Cruz R. Wright

Students in grades 9 through 11 have received a Dell laptop, charger, and case from the district.

Cruz R. Wright, Staff Writer

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Change is upon the Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High School as it steps into the future of education. The district has made the important move to provide students in grades nine through eleven with personal laptops to use inside, and out, of the school. The laptops have received positive feedback from many of the students who have received them.

The plan for the current school year is to deploy laptops to nearly 500 students in the freshman, sophomore, and junior classes. The seniors will not receive laptops as they come to close of their high school careers. In future years, every freshman will receive a new laptop, which will remain in their care until the conclusion of their high school career.

In a survey of students in grades 10 and 11, more than half found that the laptop has made doing their schoolwork easier. Additionally, about 60 percent of students found that they are now better equipped for their education.

If the laptops are distributed to students and are to remain in students’ care, there are some questions that must be answered about the school-wide evolution. Many of these questions can be answered by Mr. Kevin Stibitz, head of the Technology Department, and Mr. Terry Struble, district superintendent.

Q: Will students keep laptops over the summer?

Student laptops are to be kept and maintained over the summer. Mr. Stibitz says that using laptops over the summer will help to keep them and the programs they run up-to-date without having to be returned to the Technology Department. Mr. Struble also says that laptops are an important resource for each student to have and having a laptop extends the realm of learning reality.

Q: What will happen to laptop carts and computer labs?

With the distribution of laptops to grades 9-12, many of the school’s current technology resources will become outdated. Laptop carts and computer labs will need to be redistributed to help the majority of students. Mr. Stibitz says that all laptop carts will begin being distributed to “core curriculum” seventh and eighth grade classes. Mr. Struble says that the space currently being used for computer labs will be rescaled in the future to fit the needs of students. Possible charging spaces and tech-enabling classrooms may become part of future school life.

Q: Will classes be online if school days are missed?

Although students may cringe at the thought, one-to-one laptops could help transfer missed school into cyber days. The distribution of laptops allows the future of education to meet students as soon as possible. According to Mr. Struble, the student body will be able to transfer their work online and be able to complete it with much greater ease.

Q: Where is the school getting the money to fund such a program?

Mr. Struble says: “The district used a combination of funds from grant sources, the sale of property, and district reserves.”

Mr. Stibitz says that problems with laptops are destined to arise, however, the technology department is dedicated to helping alleviate any issues of the sort. One issue that happened even before distribution was the application of each individual student’s image and getting each student’s current online profile onto the laptops.

As technology becomes more available to every student at the Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High, both Mr. Stibitz and Mr. Struble say that a step is being taken towards a more advanced educational future. Mr. Stibitz is proud, to say the least, that the Clearfield School District is able to offer such an opportunity to its students. Mr. Struble says that the jump towards one-to-one laptops is a benefit for everyone and helps students become equipped with technology they will see throughout their futures.