Monthly Archives: January 2018

Student Chromebooks – Update

In June 2017, 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 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

$20 Insurance
Insurance covers accidental damage due to defects, liquid and power. There is a $50 deductible for lost or stolen Chromebooks.
I’m getting mixed messages on who has to pay $20 and how often. I received a high school newsletter that said “The $20 payment is per student annually”. DeKalb Schools Chief Information Officer (CIO), Gary Brantley, told me that all students must pay the $20 to get a Chromebook except in extreme cases. He also mentioned that the rate of damaged Chromebooks is so low, the $20 will probably be a one time payment.
This is Mr. Brantley’s official written response,

Response from Gary Brantley: The $20 is not annual its initial only. Schools are asked to identify students who desire a device but are unable to afford the insurance. When those students are identified and communicated to the program manager provisions are made for the students to receive a device. Every student that desires a device will receive a device. We have cases where the student would prefer to use his/her own or where the parent has opted out completely.

Deployment Schedule (View Complete Schedule Here)
1/22/2018 – Dunwoody HS (Complete)
1/22/2018 – Peachtree MS (Complete)
1/23/2018 – Druid Hills HS (Complete)
1/24/2018 – Druid Hills MS (Complete)
1/29/2018 – Chamblee HS (Complete)
1/30/2018 – Chamblee MS (In Progress)
1/31/2018 – Lakeside HS (Not Started)
2/01/2018 – Henderson MS (Not Started)
8/01/2018 – Cross Keys HS (Not Started)
8/01/2018 – Sequoyah MS (Not Started)
8/01/2018 – Kittridge ES (6th Grade Only) (Not Started)
8/01/2018 – Tucker HS (Not Started)
8/01/2018 – Tucker MS (Not Started)
8/01/2018 – DeKalb School of the Arts (Not Started)

Google Classroom
Google Classroom is a blended learning platform developed by Google for schools that aims to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way.
It’s free and DeKalb Schools created user accounts for every teacher to use it … and use it they did. Numerous schools across the district adopted Google Classroom school-wide including Bethune MS, Kittredge ES, Barack Obama ES, Stone Mountain MS, Peachtree MS, Druid Hills MS.
The Google logins are used for these new devices, but DeKalb Schools is blocking the use of Google Classroom now. My understanding is that DeKalb Schools’ VERGE software suite is so bad, the district is doing everything it can force teachers to use it.
Gary Brantley insists VERGE is “acceptable” by all teachers.

Given the new one-to-one technology program, the district is finding itself in new cyber territory. I’m currently pushing the board and administration to revisit our technology policies to keep students safe while juggling privacy issues as advances in technology increase our ability to monitor students’ online at all hours.

Related Posts

Google Classroom Vs VERGE
September 8, 2017 – Can somebody help me understand why DeKalb Schools is blocking access to Google Classroom? Half a dozen schools in DeKalb adopted it school wide and it was just recently blocked by the school district with no warning.

Digital Dreamers
August 9, 2017 – Digital Dreamers is the code name for the rollout of laptops for each and every student and teacher in the district.

New Laptops For All DeKalb Teachers and Students
August 7, 2017 – DeKalb Schools has the 2nd highest millage rate in the state and a penny sales tax. This is how DeKalb Schools plans on evenly evenly distributing some of that money across the County.

Survey – Making Up Days Lost to Inclement Weather

Click here to take the survey

2018 Inclement Weather Make-Up Days
The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) closed schools for four days this month due to inclement weather – January 8, as well as January 17-19. According to Superintendent/CEO R. Stephen Green, “Protecting our instructional time is key to supporting student achievement. Making up lost time on those dates is prudent and the least disruptive of the options that were considered.”
In considering options to recover lost instructional time, DCSD has committed to keep the current Presidents’ Day, Spring Break, and last day of school as scheduled. DCSD will make up two of the four inclement weather days on Friday, February 16th, and Friday, March 9th.
Potential make-up day options for day 3 and day 4 include virtual learning or extending the regular school day. DCSD also wants to remain flexible in case more inclement weather days are needed in the future.
Please complete the short survey about the make-up day options. This is not a vote but rather an opportunity to receive input from all stakeholders to determine the best option for our students and families. In order to ensure that your responses are recorded, select the SUBMIT button at the end of the survey. Please complete the survey only once. Thank you in advance for providing valuable feedback.