BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School District is planning to provide all students with a laptop computer in the 2022-23 school year.
During a presentation at the April 26 School Board meeting, Joe Amato, director of technology and information services, said school districts throughout the country that utilize the One-to-One device initiative have reported increased student achievement, more engaged learners, enhanced technology skills, better understanding of digital citizenship and an overall boost to college and career readiness.
"The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated an acute need to move to one-to-one devices to better serve our students," Amato said. "The federal government recognized the disparity and inequity resulting from students not having a device at home and approved not only the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief grant but also the Emergency Connectivity Fund grant to specifically address these needs."
At the meeting, the board approved the purchase of the laptops, with an extended accidental damage warranty and associated equipment for an estimated cost of $13.6 million.
Students will receive a Hewlett Packard ProBook x360 11 EE Notebook PC with a touchscreen. The computers will include all needed applications, educational programs and files for students to access at home and at school using a single sign-on, and will be managed by the district to ensure internet content is monitored and filtered in accordance with the Children Internet Protection Act.
The district's implementation plan includes an upgrade of the districtwide wireless network to accommodate the added traffic and bandwidth requirements and adding approximately 2,000 WiFi access points, concurrent cabling and additional network switching.
To ensure a smooth implementation, the district will activate a task force to further refine the details of this large roll-out.
"Lack of access to technology can be a barrier for students. With One-to-One devices, we can offer students a way to effectively extend time for study and research and lessen the potential for students to fall behind due to limited online tools," said Superintendent John Stratton.