In June, the DeKalb Schools Board approved over $27 million for the purchase of a laptop, software and accessories for each and every DeKalb Schools student and teacher.
DeKalb Schools has the 2nd highest millage rate in the state and a penny sales tax. This is DeKalb Schools’ statement on how some of that money will be distributed across DeKalb County.
DeKalb Schools Vision of Technology
• Integrated technology solutions to enhance communication
• Equitable access to devices and robust wireless network
• Community engagement necessary to support a shift to a digital learning environment
• Multiple, deliberate and continuous opportunities to learn about technology for everyone
Virtucom will provide a turnkey solution that provides storage, warehousing, delivery, shipping, imaging, engraving, inside delivery, on-site installation, training, activation, configuration/testing, acceptance, all paperwork (barcoding, etc.) and all things necessary for the provision of the specified equipment.
Note: Elementary students will not have their own laptops. Every elementary class will will share a cart of 30 laptops with another elementary class.
|ENROLLMENT||DEVICE COUNT||UNIT PRICE||CARTS||TOTAL|
|ELEMENTARY||49308||24654||$312||822 carts @ $815||$8,361,978|
Gary Brantley has been the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for DeKalb Schools since 2011. Brantley provides this
DeKalb Schools Laptop Rollout FAQ
Q: Who will receive a device?
Brantley: The goal of the Digital Dreamers project and its 1:1 initiative is to build competitive students while increasing their digital footprints, with that we’ve ensured that all high school and middle school students will receive a device.
Q: What if parents do not want their child to have a device?
Brantley: This is a concern that we have addressed during deployment discussions with principals and our community stakeholder group. We will encourage the parent to allow the student to use the device. In the event that they don’t, C&I will provide the student with the proper materials and resources.
Q: Will students be able to take devices home?
Brantley: Our initial approach includes the recommendation that all devices remain on school premises for the first year of deployment. The IT Department will work with each school to ensure that they are prepared to take on the responsibility of the devices before any devices are distributed to the children. Our Readiness Assessment will include parental and PTA/PTO support, staff development, storage and security.
Q: How is this funded?
Brantley: The project will be funded through SPLOST V.
Q: When will students receive their laptops? Is there a schedule?
Brantley: We are currently working with principals and committee members to develop a full-proof deployment schedule and approach that best serves the students, faculty, staff and the community. The rollout of the 1:1 deployment will span two years.
Q: What technical support will schools, teachers and students have access to?
Brantley: Our IT Support Team – All High and Middle schools have a technician on site that provides support specifically for their school
Q: Will students receive a case to protect the device?
Brantley: Yes, students will receive a bag.
Q: Will devices come with keyboards or headphones?
Brantley: Yes, each device has a standard built-in keyboard. But, headphones will not be provided by the district.
Q: Do the devices have a camera?
Brantley: Yes, each device will come equipped with a web camera.
Q: Will parents and/or guardians have to sign something to be issued a device?
Brantley: Yes, parents will have documentation to sign.
Q: What if a device is damaged, lost, or stolen?
Brantley: The devices can be tracked if stolen or lost. The devices have a very strong warranty and a separate insurance policy for protection.
Q: Can you track the devices?
Brantley: Yes, all of the devices distributed will be tracked.
Q: What software is preloaded on devices?
Brantley: We have not completed the final list for this but each device will have every instructional software tool along with productivity tools such as Microsoft Office and Google’s G-suite.
Q: What if families do not have internet access at home?
Brantley: The 1 Million Project powered by Sprint will help us decrease this digital divide, as it will allow us to provide wifi hotspots to over 25,000 students for free for 5 years. In addition we anticipate that there will be overlap in the distribution of technology tools, specifically meeting needs of students with siblings in the school system – some who might receive devices and some who might receive hotspots.