SUHSD Chromebook Q & A

  • Why are we doing this?

    To be consistent with the SUHSD Board of Education's goal that all students will graduate college and/or career ready, the SUHSD has an obligation to prepare students for an ever-changing world in which technology plays an ever-increasing role. We believe that every student has a right to an education that develops the skills necessary to become a productive citizen. These skills include: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. As our district moves forward, we will ensure that every student in every class will have the opportunity to learn in an engaging environment reflective of the world that surrounds us.

    What will this cost and who is paying for it?

    Just as the district currently provides high quality textbooks and other instructional materials for students, the district will supply quality devices to meet the requirements of today’s learners. Chromebooks are instructional tools, and the district has allocated funding for routine maintenance and replacement.


    Student forgot to bring their Chromebook. Now what?

    Students who do not bring a Chromebook to school may be able to use a Chromebook from their classrooms. These "Loaner" Chromebooks cannot be taken out of the classroom.  There will be a limited number of these "Loaner" Chromebooks in the classrooms, so there may not be available and your student may be without a Chromebook for the day. 


    How are student’s Chromebook identified from another student?

    Each Chromebook will be tagged with a serial number and assigned to a specific student. Therefore, if a Chromebook is misplaced, the student can be reunited with the appropriate device.  Any ID stickers that are on the Chromebook when issued, must stay on the Chromebook.  No additional permanent markings of any kind (permanent stickers, engraving, permanent ink pen, tape, etc.) shall be placed on the Chromebook or it’s carrying case at any time. While the devices are issued to students, they are still district-owned property. Any additional markings on the device or its case will be considered vandalism. Students can add non-permanent identifying items to their assigned case such as ribbons, key chains or other removable items.


    Will the Chromebooks ever leave the building?

    Students will be allowed to take the Chromebooks home for school-related use.  All students must have the Authorized Use Policy (AUP) signed by themselves and a parent before they are issued a Chromebook. 


    My student forgot to charge their Chromebook (or forgot to bring it). Now what?

    Students are expected to charge their Chromebooks nightly at home and bring them to school fully charged. Students who do not bring a charged Chromebook back to school may be able to use a Chromebook from the classroom. "Loaner" Chromebooks cannot be taken out of the classroom. Loaners are limited and may not be available and your student may be without a Chromebook for the day. 

    They will be able to charge the Chromebook in the various charging stations located around the school campus. 


    How should students carry their Chromebooks?

    Chromebooks should never be transported while open as this can damage the screen. Chromebooks should be safely closed and placed in their travel case before they are taken from classroom to classroom, or to and from school.


    Where can you get an Internet connection if the building’s wireless connection is not working?

    The devices will connect to the web wirelessly. When offline however, some features, such as access to the student’s Google Drive, will still work on a limited basis. The work that is done off-line will be synced as soon as the device is reconnected to a wireless network.
    Public libraries in Salinas have public WiFi access as well as many public meeting areas.


    What login will students use to get into the device operating system?

    Students will each have an SUHSD Google account that is their primary login and username. Students can change their password in the eSchools+ Home Access Center (HAC), but they cannot change their username. The student's teachers can access passwords if students forget them.


    Can the Chromebooks be used with a non-district account?

    No. Students and staff cannot access a district-owned Chromebook with any other login other than their district-assigned email. For example, students will not be able log in to their personal Gmail account on a district-provided Chromebook. However, if a student logs into another device with their school username (a PC laptop, a school lab computer, a loaner Chromebook, etc.) all of their information (bookmarks, emails, documents, applications, etc.) will be available to them on that device when using a Chrome browser.

     
    Will unsafe or inappropriate websites be filtered on the devices?

    We do our best to ensure our child’s online experience is safe. Before each Chromebook device connects to the Internet, it must pass through district filters.  If your child is using the Chromebook at school, home or public WiFi, it will always pass through our web filtering before they can see or access web content. Our web filters are programmed to block inappropriate content as much as possible.  The Chromebooks will also have filtering software installed that helps ensure inappropriate content cannot be accessed no matter where the students are using them.

    All of the district's web filtering policies and products are compliant with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).  Although no filter is perfect, they do an excellent job of protecting our students.


    What happens if students have been visiting inappropriate websites?

    While we do our best to stay on top of things, some websites are not blocked, generally because they are classified incorrectly. Teachers and parents are encouraged to randomly check the browsing history of student Chromebooks on a regular basis. Browsing histories cannot be deleted by the students. The district will also conduct random checks of student browsing histories. If you discover any inappropriate web activity, please contact your child’s building principal or associate principal. Inappropriate web browsing is a violation of the district Authorized Use Policy and may result in disciplinary action.


    What happens if the device is damaged or lost?

    The Chromebooks are quite durable, if cared for properly and kept in the supplied case it is very unlikely they will become damaged. If loss or damage does occur, please contact the main office in your school.  Students and parents will be responsible for district-owned technology property that is issued to them, just as they are for other district-owned items such as text books, calculators, cameras, athletics equipment or library books. The district will repair or replace the device, but students and parents will be responsible for the cost of those repairs or replaced devices. 


    Replacement Cost is defined as the cost the district will pay to purchase a new Chromebook to replace the damaged Chromebook.
    If a Chromebook simply stops working correctly through no fault of the student and there is no physical or water damage, the Chromebook will be replaced at no cost. 

    See the table below for some costs: 

    Replace Entire (damaged) Chromebook ~ $85

    Replace Lost or Stolen Chromebook ~

    Replace Screen ~ $90

    Replace keyboard or touch-pad ~ $75

    Replace power cable/charger ~ $50

    Replace transport case ~ $15

    *The standard warranty on the device is one year for manufacturing defects only and does not cover normal use wear-and-tear.

     

    Report breakage to your teacher immediately, glass shards from a broken screen can be very dangerous, and left broken can damage more than just the screen. Fill out repair form and turn in Chromebooks to the textbook clerk; you will be issued a replacement Chromebook.  After a third incident the entire repair cost will be the responsibility of the student and parent/guardian.


    Can you Print from the devices?

    Digital online file sharing between staff and students is one of the great advantages of the Chromebooks and is an easy and efficient way to distribute and turn in assignments without printing. It also saves on paper, ink and toner.   There are ways to print from the Chromebooks and students will be able to print from home (via Google Cloud Print) and school by logging into a computer connected to a network printer.  


    What if another student damages my student’s device?

    In such cases, circumstances will be investigated on a case-by-case basis. School administration and the School Resource Officer may be involved if it is suspected to be an intentional act or act of vandalism.


    How would you go about repairing a laptop that is not functioning?

    Damaged or non-functioning devices should be turned in to the student’s textbook room for replacement.  Students that turn in a device for repair will be issued a replacement device so that they do not have to wait for the Chromebook to be repaired. Any charges owed by the student will be noted on the student account and the replacement device will be issued immediately.


    Do repair fees need to be paid up front?

    Paying for repairs is preferred to be done up front, but in certain situations arrangements can be made for payment plans so students can continue using their device.

  • Returning The Chromebook

    Chromebooks must be returned to the district at the end of each school year. Students leaving the district must return the Chromebooks to the district.  If a Chromebook is not returned to the district, it will be considered stolen property and law enforcement agencies will be notified. 


    What if a student is out of school for an extended period, like two or three weeks (illness, travel, family emergency, etc.)?

    With the devices, it will become even easier for students to receive work from their teacher. Assignments and other resources can be placed online and shared with the student who is absent. The student can do the work online from home and share it with the teacher.


    What kind of apps are on the devices?

    There are thousands of apps available for Chromebooks covering a wide variety of topics. The apps, which run in the Chrome browser, are downloadable through the Chrome Web Store.


    Can students download apps?

    Yes. students can add educational apps from the web store.


    What devices can be connected to a Chromebook?

    A Chromebook can connect to:
    USB storage devices, mice and keyboards
    SD cards
    External monitors and projectors (via HDMI)
    Headphones, earbuds, microphones


    How can students submit work or assignments via their devices?

    Google Classroom, Google Drive and other educational applications have features that allow work to be “shared” between teachers and even classmates. Students can create documents, spreadsheets, drawings, photos, presentations and videos. Each item can be “shared” with a teacher prior to its due date. The teacher can then see the work on their own computer to review it or grade it.


    Will teacher lessons ever be recorded so students can review material?

    Possibly. Some teachers already utilize different applications to record lessons and make them available via the web. This allows students to view recorded lessons and access related materials (handouts, presentations, etc.) online for review. This is especially important for students who are unable to attend one or more classes.


    Can the devices be used at home?

    Yes, if your home has a WiFi network, the devices will have the same functionality and filtered web access as they would at school.
    If you don’t have a WiFi network at home, students can still use them, but in a limited capacity.  Some applications will work “offline” (such as Google drive) but content saved to the device will not be backed up online until an Internet connection is available for the device.


    Will devices be kept by students over summer?

    Yes. Devices will be turned in at the end of the school year so the district can do maintenance on them. Devices will be re-issued at the start of the school year to continuing students. Devices issued to students who leave the district (move, graduate, etc.) will be erased and re-issued to other students on an as-needed basis.


    How long should Chromebooks last?

    Chromebooks have very few moving parts in them and generate very little heat. Therefore the life expectancy — so long as they are treated appropriately — is fairly long. Four years or more is not unrealistic. Additionally, the devices have powerful processors, adequate memory, and automatically update to the latest software and security features.


    Can the district track web history?

    Yes. The district can track information on what sites students were on, when they were on them, and how long they were on those sites. Students should only visit sites that serve an educational purpose and those that are not in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy. Violations of the policy can result in disciplinary action, including the student being suspended from using the school network. This type of violation may also result in a student losing access to their assigned Chromebook.


    Are other districts doing this?

    Yes. We’ve been in contact with other districts around the state that have done one-to-one technology rollouts for students, including using Chromebook devices. Santa Rita is one such district.  Before our Chromebook launch, we’ve sought advice on how to move forward from other one-to-one districts, learning from them what’s worked well and how to avoid certain problems. 
    There are also online resources about one-to-one programs in K-12 schools and we are using tips and advice from those sources, as well.


    What can you say about eTextbooks? Will they replace traditional texts?

    There is a growing number of eTextbooks available for schools to use, whether they are viewed on Chromebooks, iPads, traditional laptops or other devices. eTexts are generally cheaper than hard-cover textbooks, are updated at least annually (if not more often), are highly portable (multiple texts on one device that weighs less than three pounds), and highly interactive. eTextbooks aren’t just black letters on a white screen. Often times the text is searchable, citable, and linked to other resources. Chapters and lessons have learning activities, videos and photo galleries built in. They are enhanced with audio, interactivity and multimedia, and they offer tremendous learning advantages to our students. We will still use traditional textbooks in the foreseeable future, but the shift to more eTextbooks will happen. Increasingly district-adopt curricula have online and interactive components to go along with traditional classroom materials.


    How can you prevent student copying and/or plagiarism?

    There are ways to check and see if work is copied between students.  It's important to remember that this problem is not unique to technology.  Students have been copying each other's papers and homework since well before computers were available to them.  Teaching students how to use technology responsibly is just as important as the anti-cheating messages of earlier generations.


    Will paper assignments become obsolete?

    We can’t say that we will never have paper or printed projects or work, but it will become less used as time goes on. This can add up to significant cost savings by using less ink, toner and paper. That’s good for the environment, too.


    Can parents use the Chromebooks?

    When a student is logged into the Chromebook, parents can use the Chromebooks to connect with teachers or view student progress in the Home Access Center. 


    Can my child opt out of having a Chromebook?

    No. Chromebooks are expected to become an integral part of the education all students receive in the Salinas Union High School District. We want students to take advantage of the powerful learning resources made available by the devices.  This is the same approach we take with textbooks: students are required to have them to complete their assignments and learn the material.


    Can student work be transferred from their Chromebook to another device?

    Student applications, email, bookmarks, documents, presentations and nearly anything else completed in the Chrome browser can be made available elsewhere; provided that the student has logged in that device. 
    Data can also be saved to a USB drive and transported between devices..


    What about computer viruses getting onto the Chromebook?

    Since the applications run through the browser and online, there is little to no risk of viruses infecting the Chromebook’s software or hardware.


    How much storage do students have?

    Student Chromebooks will have 16 gigabytes of storage on the machine, plus unlimited online “cloud” storage that is attached to their email and accessible via the Google Drive application.


    What will it cost to charge the Chromebook at home?

    The electricity costs should be minimal to families over the school year, and the total cost is based on usage. Below is a website to help you develop an estimate. 
    The device draws about 36 watts, according to the manufacturer's specifications. 
    To estimate electricity usage or kilowatt hours and annual cost visit this site... Energy Usage Cost
     
    If your child charges his/her Chromebook at home (the batteries do charge while being used, too) every day after school for one hour, the annual cost to parents is about 80 cents. 

    (36 watts x 1 hour per day x 185 school days per year) / 1000 = 6.66 kWh
    6.66 kWh x $0.12 = $0.80