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.
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 is providing a Chromebook to all elementary school students within the first quarter. 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:
- Access to a working technology device (laptop, desktop computer, tablet, and/or mobile device) that is less than five years old and that can:
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.
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 and high school students:
- HCPSS will provide a Chromebook to every student in middle and high school within the school year.
- While devices are being procured, parents/guardians of middle and 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.
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:
- Parents/guardians should log in to HCPSS Connect.
- From the left menu, last choice, select “More Options” then choose “Student Technology.”
- On the HCPSS Student Technology screen, use the drop down arrows to indicate the Technology Requested for each student. Changes are saved immediately.
- 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.
- Families will receive a confirmation email from the school with necessary information, including pickup location, date and time when devices are available.
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.
- 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)
- Old Cedar Lane, Gymnasium (door on the left side of the building; follow the signs), 5451 Beaverkill Road, Columbia (Building shares a parking lot with Harper’s Choice Middle School)
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.
Effective Monday, March 22
The HCPSS Technology Support Center site at the ARL will be closed for device exchanges, returns and support. A new support center will open at the nearby Old Cedar Lane building in Columbia.
At that time, devices may be exchanged or returned at any of the following Technology Support Centers:
Note! Both locations are in old school buildings that are not located at the same sites as the new schools with similar names. Anyone seeking assistance should go to the locations listed above and not go to or call the current schools regarding the Technology Support Center.
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.
Students should care for their Chromebooks to avoid any damage to the device. Learn more about caring for Chromebooks.