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 Rochester Community Schools will implement a new technology model  this fall.

Rochester Community Schools will implement a new technology model this fall.

Photo provided by Rochester Community Schools

RCS to provide all students laptops

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published July 7, 2020


ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS/OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Rochester Community Schools is going to give a computer to every K-12 student through a new 1-to-1 technology program that will begin during the 2020-21 school year.

The timeline for the deployment of the devices will depend on the availability of equipment.

Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Debi Fragomeni said the district is proud to be able to offer this technology for families.

“In every model of equitable instruction that we’ve researched and evaluated for the fall, continued success hinges on a strong technology foundation that includes access to a device and internet connectivity for all students,” she said in a statement.

After identifying, assessing and analyzing multiple personal electronic devices, Executive Director of Technology and Strategic Initiatives Cindy Lindner said RCS has selected the Dell 3100 Chromebook 2-in-1 for its students because it is easy to use, deploy, manage and support, and it is cost-effective: 1/3 the cost of a traditional laptop.

“It can work as a laptop and you can also flip it over and it can work as a tablet,” Lindner explained.

Over the past few years, Lindner said, a number of initiatives have strengthened the district’s technology infrastructure and enhanced teaching and learning capabilities — including the strategic plan; the passage of the district’s 2015 $185 million five-year bond proposal that funded infrastructure and technology enhancements and improved student safety and school security; and the passage of the 2019 building and site sinking fund that enabled RCS to earmark resources for further technology.

“We originally looked at our instructional model years ago when we passed the bond and determined at that time that while we had the bond dollars available, we didn’t have a way to sustain an investment in student technology devices,” Lindner said. “When the sinking fund passed this November, we had already started conversations with curriculum regarding what that next evolution of technology looked like here in Rochester. That’s when we determined we could make this initial purchase using bond dollars and then our sinking fund annual money for 10 years would be able to help us sustain that investment.”

Lindner said the district’s initial purchase of 11,000 Chromebooks will be added to the inventory of devices the district already had on hand.

“It has all the features needed to continue supporting our students in a virtual environment, a remote environment and an in-person environment to support our students with technology,” she said.

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