Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: 12/26/2019 7:02 PM

 

Wyoming City Schools

 

The following information is designed to answer many of the common questions regarding the 1-to-1 laptop plan:

 
Financial Overview

Q: How exactly does the district Laptop option work?

A: For a $100 annual technology fee, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade students will be provided a device to use. Below are the details of how this program works per grade level:

9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade students in the 2018-19 school year

Families will pay the $100 technology fee, which includes full accidental damage coverage.

Student receives laptop at start of school year. Student is issued the same laptop each year.  District collects laptop at end of each year to clean and reimage. Students who do not return the laptop will be subject to disciplinary action. After paying the technology fee for each year, at the close of the student's senior year, the student will have the option to keep the laptop.

Q: When and how do I pay the fee?

A: Laptops will be distributed by grade levels on specified dates and times.  Fees must be paid at time of laptop pickup. Students will not be able to pickup 2018-2019 schedules unless the laptop fee has been paid.

Q: Will we be required to pay the technology fee if we bring our own device?

A: No, students will not be charged the technology fee as long as they indicate that they will be providing their own device through the BYOD Device Commitment form available on the website. Otherwise, students will be assigned a laptop and will be assessed the appropriate fee.

Q: What if I can’t afford my own device?

A: If you are eligible for the free/reduced lunch program and have signed and turned in the “Sharing Information Waiver,” students will receive a laptop from the district free of charge to be used during the school year. These devices will go home with the student during the school year, but will be returned to the school before leaving for the summer (unless enrolled in a summer academic program). Internet access will not be provided for home use.  Teachers will provide a list of public places such as the local library where the student can access the Internet.

Q: If we initially decide on the district laptop option, but later change our mind and want to bring our own device, are we eligible for a refund?

A: No, based on the fact that the device accidental insurance has already been purchased by the district for that year, you will not get a refund. You may elect to bring your own device or continue to use the district device and bring your own device the following year.

Q: At what point are we committed to the district laptop option?

A: After the BYOD Device Commitment form deadline has passed and the devices have been purchased by the district for the following school year, you will be responsible for paying the $100 technology fee for your child.

Usage and Support

Q: Does my child have to participate in this program? Is my child required to bring a device to school every day?

A: Students will be required to have access to an electronic learning device on a daily basis. Unless otherwise noted through the BYOD Device Commitment form that will go out to parents this August, students will be enrolled in the laptop program and will be assessed the technology fee. Ultimately the decision is left to the discretion of the family as to whether the student utilizes the laptop program through the district or brings their own device, but students will be utilizing their electronic learning device in the classroom as a learning tool on a daily basis.

Q: Is my student going to be on their electronic device all of the time?

A: The device is simply a learning tool teachers will be using in conjunction with other educational resources, such as textbooks and traditional classroom materials. All of this will supplement the teacher's' classroom instructions and guidance.

Q: Will a smartphone be considered an approved district device?

A: Although a smartphone does have some utility as a classroom learning tool, it comes with limitations for most of the work your child will be doing at school. It is for this reason that the district will not permit the use of a smartphones as the primary electronic learning device and we will not register smartphones on our network. See below for more information regarding acceptable device specifications.

Q: If my student brings their own device, what type of device should I purchase for them?

A: In considering a device to purchase for your student, we recommend any type of laptop that meets the following minimum specifications:

N or AC wireless capability

Flash Player compatibility

 USB flash drive port

Up to date operating system (minimum of Windows 7 Pro; Windows 10 Pro preferred)

 Sufficient memory (4 GB recommended)

Access to the Chrome Internet browser

Screen size of 10.8 inches or greater

Keyboard/keypad

128 Gig SSD Hard drive minimum

Macintosh computers will be allowed as long as students can access the required websites and tools for their classrooms. It is suggested that students check with teachers and try all sites and tools that they will be asked to utilize.

Tablets cannot be utilized due to its limited computing capabilities regarding word processing and flash compatibility. All Devices must be compatible with Office365, OneNote desktop, and software compatible with Windows OS.

Q: Does my charger need to come to school with me?

A: Students will be expected to have a charged device available during the entire school day. Depending on the life of the battery, your child may need to bring a charger with them to school. You may also want to consider purchasing a second charger to keep at school, but this is a device-by-device and personal decision. Charging stations will be available throughout the schools. District purchased laptops come with a standard nine-hour battery life and, if charged nightly, should not require a charger at school.

Q: What happens to my district laptop at the end of the school year?

A: Student laptops will be turned-in at the end of the school year so they can be re-imaged and cleaned-up for the next school year. The same laptop will be re-assigned to the student at the start of the following school year. If the student is enrolled in a summer academic program, they will be able to keep the laptop during that time. Students not returning the laptop will be charged full replacement cost of the laptop.

Q: What if a child breaks or damages a district machine?

A: Ninth, 10th & 11th grade Students are assessed $100 each year to cover the cost of accidental insurance. The insurance will cover the cost of repairs due to vandalism or damage sustained due to negligent behavior and accidental damage. Students will turn in damaged device to be repaired and receive a loaner through the media center. Depending on the nature or number of times of the break or damage, disciplinary action may result.

Q: Use in the classroom?

A: Students will be expected to follow the teacher rules for use and management of technology in their classrooms. Teachers will instruct students at the beginning of the year on their expectations and rules. The Media Specialist will offer instruction on Digital Citizenship and the District’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). Students will have access to Lynda.com accounts to enhance technology learning and for the ability to find technology answers when working at home.

Q: How long will Wyoming provide service and loaners for the district laptops?

A: Wyoming will provide service and loaner devices to students a school year at a time. It is the hope that families will move to providing a device for their students in lieu of using a District device. Families will have the option to purchase the same device through a link that will be shared at a later date.

Q: Do I need a special case or backpack?

A: This is an individual decision, but security of these machines is very important. Many backpacks or padded slim cases are built with extra padding for laptop protection.

Q: If we use a district laptop, will Wyoming City School District provide technology support for the device?

A: Yes, we will provide full technology support for laptops that are obtained through the district. Students will have full access to our district technology team, including the Leaders in Technology student technology team and the help desk at Wyoming High School.

Q: If my child brings their own device to school, will Wyoming City School District provide technology support for the device?

A: For personally-owned devices, support from the student help desk would be available during school hours. However, this support would be limited to answering basic troubleshooting and problem solving questions. Any support required beyond this (including any and all hardware issues) will be the responsibility of the family.

Q: If we use a district laptop and the device is broken or requires repair will Wyoming provide a temporary device to be used while the device is under repair?

A: Yes, your student will be equipped with a temporary, loaner laptop to be used during the repair. This will be issued through the library.

Q: If my child typically brings their own device to school but the device gets broken, will Wyoming provide a device to be used while the device is being repaired?

A: No, students will not be provided an assigned loaner device, although students will have access to a limited number of devices available for checkout through the media center. These devices, however, will need to be returned at the end of the day, and are limited in quantity.

Q: What if we don’t have Internet access at home, or if I only have one computer but multiple students at home?

A: For students who do not have internet access or a computer at home, the school will make times available before and after school for student use of the district network. There are also multiple locations across Wyoming with access to free WiFi (the public library, Half Day, Gabby’s, etc.). Remember, each child needs a computer to use during school hours, whether it is borrowed from the district or purchased by the family.

Q: If my student brings his or her own device to school and he or she receives a new device during the school year, will they have the opportunity to register that new device with the school to use as their primary electronic learning device?

A: Yes, students will have the opportunity to register new devices at regularly scheduled times through the Leaders in Technology student support desk. These dates will be decided upon and made available at Wyoming High School.

Safety and Security

Q: What about Internet safety?

A: The district employs a robust Internet security system which filters all student devices while on our district network. NOTE: Any personal student device that can access a cellular network data plan (ie. - 4G plans) is able to bypass the Internet filter provided by the school’s service. Please refer to our student acceptable use policy for additional information.

Q: Will the district monitor my child’s internet safety and activity away from school while on a district Laptop?

A: No, although the district will filter content and track all student devices while on the district network, the district does not have plans to filter off the district network and will not be responsible for monitoring activity away from school. Students need to understand that they are held accountable to the district's appropriate use policy for any items downloaded or accessed using a school-owned device even when off-campus. 

Q: Why are you requiring my student to register their electronic learning device with the school and what does this mean?

A: When we register your student’s electronic learning device, we will be documenting the manufacturer and model of your child’s device to assist with identification in the event of loss or theft, as well as the device’s MAC address which allows us to give your student access to a protected wireless network while at school. In the event of loss or theft, having the device’s MAC address registered will also give us some information on the device’s location while still on our network, hopefully leading to the retrieval of the device. This does not give us access to any personal data or information that may be stored on the device, nor does it provide the ability to monitor or track student use while on the device.

Q: Will you be registering my student’s smartphone?

A: No, we are not registering student smartphones. Only a student’s primary electronic learning device will be registered with the school.

Q: I’m worried my computer will get stolen. How is the district going to help me keep my computer safe?

A: The high school administration will communicate building-specific safety and security plans in parent meetings and/or communication through the district website. Computer safety will also be reviewed with students when laptops are distributed. Any issue of theft concerning a district device will result in a report being filed with the Wyoming Police Department. We do have the ability to track student devices while at school, as long as they are registered on our network.

Q: What level of privacy can my student expect regarding their district laptop or personal device and school data?

A: Users of district devices and the district wireless network have no rights, ownership, or expectations of privacy to any data that is, or was, stored on the laptops, school network or any district issued applications and are given no guarantees that data will be retained or destroyed.

Q: How does Office365 handle student data?

A: Office365 for Education core services contain no advertising and does not use student data for any advertising purposes. All student data is contained within the Office365, remains the property of the school district and is used in compliance with CIPA (Child Internet Protection Act), COPPA (children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding Microsoft’s privacy pledge to education, please contact Patricia McNerney, Director of Technology, Wyoming City School District. 

General Questions

Q: Why is the district deciding on the Laptop as the device of choice?

A: A laptop is a small computer that is now the No. 1 device in education. The devices are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and data residing in “the cloud." Laptops integrate with your child’s district-provided Wyoming Office365 account providing instant access to the Office365 Apps for Education suite of tools, including OneDrive, Email, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Sway, etc. Laptops have recently overtaken the iPad as the No. 1 device used in education due to their extended battery life, low cost and portability. Laptops provide access to the web-based tools utilized in all of our classrooms, and enable efficiency and productivity in the classroom with a low risk of technical issues. The Wyoming City School District feels as if the Laptop provides our students with an efficient and reliable means to access district instructional content while providing access to resources and a world of limitless data and learning opportunities - all at an affordable and sustainable cost.

Q: Is the option available to forego the district laptop option and buy a laptop outright from the district?

A: No, you will not have the option to pay the lump sum price of the laptop up front in lieu of the technology fee option. Laptops are now available for purchase through most stores and websites that sell electronics and/or technology products.

Q: Does the district recommend a particular model or manufacturer of laptop?

A:  The district does not endorse or recommend any particular manufacturer or model of laptop. Prices and availability vary by store or vendor.

Q: Are you sure the high school computer network can handle this much network traffic?

A: Yes, we have made investments in the network at the high school to accommodate this traffic and will continue to monitor this to ensure successful student use.

Q: Who technically owns the laptop while it is being used?

A: Wyoming City School District retains sole ownership. During the program, the devices are loaned to students for educational purposes only.  

Q: Will you have some sort of training or orientation for students at the start of next school year?

A: Yes. All students will be required to attend an orientation and sign the Wyoming City Schools Laptop Agreement before a Laptop will be issued to the student. Orientations will be held during August device pickup, and early in the fall semester. More information to come.

Q: How will you monitor the success of the program moving forward?

A: We will use a variety of feedback mechanisms; including, but not limited to parent/teacher/student surveys, usage trends, classroom assessments and student achievement.