All 2,234 students at Reagan High School received laptops on Monday, Jan. 12, as part of the district’s one-to-one plan to give all high school students a digital device to use for learning at school and at home. The one-to-one laptop program is a key component of HISD’s PowerUp initiative, which aims to digitally transform teaching and learning throughout the district.
Reagan is one of 14 HISD high schools distributing laptops to students during the month of January and early February. Others high schools include Davis, Lamar, Milby, Scarborough, South Early College, Waltrip, Westbury, Westside, Wheatley and Yates, as well as the Futures Academies at Jones, Jane Long Academy, and the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.
“Our digital transformation has fundamentally changed the way we approach teaching and learning,” HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier said, stressing the importance of closing the digital divide. “Our students are developing the skills they need to compete in a 21st century global economy.”
Distribution to the 14 high schools marks the completion of the second phase of the district’s one-to-one laptop initiative. The first phase was launched in the 2013–2014 school year, during which laptops were distributed to students at 11 pilot high schools: Austin, Bellaire, Chavez, Energy Institute, Kashmere, Lee, Madison, Sam Houston and Sharpstown, as well as the Mickey Leland and Young Women’s college preparatory academies.
The second phase began last fall with distribution to Carnegie Vanguard, Challenge Early College, East Early College and Liberty high schools, the Sharpstown International School, Eastwood Academy and Houston Academy for International Studies.
Can the students take their laptops home and sell them, then say they were lost?
Is there some method in place to prevent that from happening?
Hi Ms. Galicki–
The goal of providing laptops to students is to grant them access to anyplace, anytime learning, so yes, students can absolutely take their laptops home. However, any attempts to sell them for a profit will not be successful. Each laptop comes equipped with a Lo-Jack system that allows the district to shut it down (rendering it unusable) and locate/recover it if a student reports it lost or stolen. Students are also required to sign a contact in which they agree to take proper care of their laptops, and they are held accountable if one assigned to them is lost.
I am a concerned parent writing about the Laptop PowerUp Initiative. It’s great that the students are receiving laptops to help with homework but I have 3 students in high school who have teachers going on homework overload. My children also play sports have to lug around the sports equipment, a backpack with school notebooks and now a laptop. Don’t get me wrong laptops are a great idea and help for those that don’t have one at home, but to have to carry it home and everywhere you go it’s a huge pain especially for their backs…literally. I have seen many children waiting a bus stops early in the morning and late in the evening whether a hisd school stop or metro standing there waiting for a bus to pick them up with their laptops with them, do you know how dangerous that is? It scares me to see them their waiting at all kinds of hours when you have a city full of low lifes who rob innocent people. I’m just giving you my perspective. I think the schools should provide a laptop for individual students that’s great, that’s proactive, but they should be left at the school. Sure there are still many children who do not own a personal laptop and they should be given the opportunity to have one available at home, but they should individually be able to sign one out and take it home. As for homework overload some teachers are out of control everyone “now” gives daily homework that they can only log in to specific websites during specific times or the homework will not be available after designated times. This is ridiculous they are turning something good into something stressful making comments such as well we’re just preparing you for how college will be. Well they are not in college yet. My children are all in magnet classes participate in more than 1 athletic sport and before school and after school clubs,then given a time limit to open and receive and complete work online that is not right on so many levels. Sorry if this seems like ranting it’s just upsetting to see my 15, 16, and 17 year olds stress on school here lately. -Just a concerned parent Angie
Hello, Angie. Thanks for taking the time to write.
In regards to student safety, part of the required digital citizenship and laptop care lessons that students receive address personal safety issues and provide recommendations. That information is also included in parent night materials. Schools have put different mechanisms in place to address concerns raised by students regarding personal safety when not on campus, so we encourage you to speak with your principal or campus customer service representative (CSR) if you have concerns, as options vary from campus to campus.
In regards to time-management and having access to the internet, most schools provide options such as opening the library before and after school so that students may work on homework, using their devices, to meet homework deadlines. For additional details on work-load or access, please contact your child(ren)’s teacher or principal.