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Student Technology Devices

The HCPSS virtual instruction model engages students in teacher-supported and teacher-directed distance learning. Of utmost concern is equitable access to devices by all our 59,000 students.

Technology Requirements

Students will need access to a device and internet connectivity. In addition to existing Chromebooks, the Board of Education approved the purchase of additional Chromebooks to help remove technology barriers and advance equitable student learning outcomes. As such, HCPSS is working toward a 1:1 student-to-device ratio in grades pre-K to 12, and will provide a Chromebook to all elementary and middle school students within the first quarter. All students in grades prekindergarten through five will be provided with devices prior to the start of the school year. While additional devices are being procured, HCPSS will provide middle and high school students devices upon request, prioritized based on students’ access to personal devices meeting the minimum requirements.

In addition to a device, all students will need reliable access to the internet.

Families with middle and high school students should review the following minimum device requirements for students to access online resources:

Identifying Student Technology Device Needs

Families in need of assistance to indicate their need for computer or internet should contact their child’s school for additional support.

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Chromebooks

Through grants and additional funds, HCPSS is able to purchase a sufficient amount of devices necessary to eventually achieve a 1:1 student-to-device ratio for all students in grades pre-K through 12. Due to vendor delays, order fulfillment will not arrive as expected and HCPSS is adjusting its device distribution plan.

Parents/guardians will receive detailed instructions on picking up Chromebooks from their child’s school in the coming weeks.

Elementary school students:

  • All students in grades prekindergarten through five will be provided with devices prior to the start of the school year.
  • Parents/guardians of these students do not need to request a device. Information on picking up Chromebooks will be shared immediately as it becomes available.

Middle school students:

  • HCPSS will provide a Chromebook to every student in middle school within the first quarter.
  • While devices are being procured, parents/guardians of middle school students currently in need of a device may request one.
  • Requests will be prioritized based on students’ access to personal devices meeting the minimum requirements.

High school students:

  • HCPSS will provide a Chromebook to every student in high school within the school year.
  • While devices are being procured, parents/guardians of high school students currently in need of a device may request one.
  • Requests will be prioritized based on students’ access to personal devices meeting the minimum requirements.

Middle and high school families can request a Chromebook using the directions below. Elementary families do not need to request a device.

Internet

Any family without access to the internet should notify the school system using the directions below. HCPSS is working with the Bright Minds Foundation and Comcast to support families who may be eligible to participate in the Comcast Internet Essentials program. Additionally, HCPSS will prioritize distribution of a limited number of hot spots to families who cannot obtain access to the internet.

See the directions below for identifying your need for internet access.

Directions on Identifying Need for Chromebook and/or Internet

Parents/guardians can identify student needs in HCPSS Connect using the following directions:

  1. Parents/guardians should log in to HCPSS Connect.
  2. From the left menu, last choice, select “More Options” then choose “Student Technology.”
  3. On the HCPSS Student Technology screen, use the drop down arrows to indicate the Technology Requested for each student. Changes are saved immediately.
  4. If a device has already been issued, it will appear in the inventory list. If a student already has a device issued, a new request will not be processed.
  5. Families will receive a confirmation email with necessary information, including pickup location, date and time.

Student Technology Support

After receiving a Chromebook, families can use the directions for connecting a Chromebook to Wi-Fi to connect it to their home network. Students who forget their username or password can use the Account Self Service directions to retrieve their account credentials. A variety of common self-help resources can be found on the Student Technology Resources Canvas community. If you or your child has questions on how to use the technology to access instruction or is having technical issues, please email your child’s teacher or school administrator.

Exchanging or Returning a Device

Only students leaving the school system must return a device. All other students who have been provided with a Chromebook may continue to borrow a device for the 2020-2021 school year.

Students/Families who are having trouble with HCPSS applications or devices should contact their child’s school for assistance following the procedures shared by their school. Staff will attempt to resolve any issues remotely but may direct families to exchange their student’s Chromebook for a new device.

The HCPSS Logistics Center is now closed for device exchanges/returns. Devices may be exchanged or returned at any of the following Technology Support Centers:

  • Old Bushy Park Elementary School, Room E2 (door to the left of the front entrance), 2690 Route 97, Glenwood (Building is between Glenwood Middle School and Bushy Park Elementary School)
  • Applications Research Laboratory (ARL), Room B37 (door to the right of the front entrance), 10920 Clarksville Pike
  • Ascend One HCPSS Conference Center, Patuxent Room (door to the left just inside first set of doors), 8930 Stanford Blvd., Columbia (Please park behind the building and look for the HCPSS entry)

Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 2-5 p.m. Please note that Technology Support Centers are closed any day that HCPSS offices are closed.

Student Mobile Technology Duties and Obligations

In alignment with Howard County Board of Education Policy 8080 Responsible Use of Technology, Digital Tools, and Social Media, students who are assigned portable technology devices, including Chromebooks, must adhere to provisions outlined in the policy and the HCPSS Mobile Technology Duties and Obligations notice, and may be fiscally responsible for lost, stolen or damaged devices.

Student Mobile Technology Hot Spot Duties and Obligations

Students who are assigned portable technology devices, including hot spots, must adhere to provisions outlined in the policy and HCPSS Mobile Technology Hot Spot Duties and Obligations notice.