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Student Technology Devices

The HCPSS hybrid 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 has moved to a 1:1 student-to-device ratio in grades pre-K to 12, and has provided a Chromebook to all students.

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

Identifying Student Technology Device Needs

Please note, information regarding device distribution for new students enrolling for the 2021-2022 school year will be communicated prior to the start of the school year. Over the summer, devices will only be distributed to HCPSS students who do not already have an assigned device and who are participating in an HCPSS summer program.

Chromebooks

Through grants and additional funds, HCPSS was able to purchase a sufficient amount of devices necessary to achieve a 1:1 student-to-device ratio for all students in grades pre-K through 12.

Parents/guardians of newly enrolled students or students who have not yet picked up a Chromebook are eligible to receive a device. Families can contact their child’s school to see if there are spare devices at the school that can be assigned and/or pick a device up at a Technology Support Center.

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 Internet Access

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 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.

    Exchanging or Returning a Device

    Students/families 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.

    Only students leaving the school system after the current 2020-2021 school year—including those unenrolling or graduating—must return their assigned HCPSS technology devices, including laptops, Chromebooks, etc. Hot spots need to be returned only if the family does not have other children who will be enrolled for the 2021-2022 school year. Learn more about returning a device.

    Devices may be picked up, exchanged or returned at either 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)
    • 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)

    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.

Chromebook Care

Students should care for their Chromebooks to avoid any damage to the device. Learn more about caring for Chromebooks.