Dear HPCS Parent,
Two years ago we wrapped up the HPCS STEAM-powered initiative, where we increased awareness and raised funds to improve what our school is doing in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. God richly blessed our efforts, and we were able to purchase numerous tools in these areas to supplement additional training our faculty received and curricular decisions we made to improve in STEAM education at Hampton Park to better prepare our students for the 21st century.
One of the tools we were able to purchase was mobile computer labs containing several laptops teachers could reserve for upper school students to use during class. I was surprised this past year when I realized that demand for these laptops began to far exceed supply, and teachers were having to do without laptops for class periods they really wanted to use them. Our faculty were expressing more and more interest in ways they could utilize computers for various project-based learning initiatives they wanted to implement, but we just didn’t have the numbers of computers needed to support their great ideas.
And now for the big announcement: God has blessed us yet again by providing the funds to purchase Dell Chromebooks for every student in upper school (grades 7-12)! The computers just arrived on campus, and in the next few days, we’ll be preparing them for students when they start school in the next few weeks. Each student will be issued a Chromebook to use throughout the school year. They’ll be responsible to keep it safe, bring it to class each day, and utilize it for class projects, research, taking notes, writing papers, etc. We’re thrilled about the opportunities these learning tools will give us in providing a quality Christian education for your children!
I’m sure you’ll have lots of questions, and I’ll have more details closer to the start of school regarding policies and procedures. For now, let me try to answer just a few of the questions I anticipate from parents:
1. Who will own these computers? Hampton Park will own the computers. Each student will be issued a Chromebook at the start of the year and return it to HPCS at the end of the year.
2. What will happen to the current fleet of laptops in the mobile carts, and what about the computer lab? We’re excited to be able to pass the laptops in the mobile carts down to lower school for additional computers to use for students in those grades. And we will probably always need a fixed computer lab for specialized instruction on higher-powered machines, so we’ll still have the computer lab.
3. What about safety and security for my children? Every Chromebook will have numerous security features set by our IT administrator before being issued, and we will have GoGuardian software, an industry leader in filtering and monitoring software, installed on each machine to prevent access to sites and software we don’t want for our children and to prevent others from accessing the machine.
4. Will my child be able to take the Chromebook home? Yes. We want students to take their Chromebook home in order to complete homework assignments and recharge their machine overnight.
5. What if my child drops his or her Chromebook? The school will be issuing laptop cases to each student to help protect the machine from knocks and spills. And these durable Dell machines are specially designed for student use. Students will be financially responsible for damages they cause to their machine.
6. Will this computer cost me anything? No. The school will be issuing these computers free of charge to each student in upper school to use throughout the school year. We plan to charge students a very modest amount (less than $15) on their school bill to cover the cost of a computer case to protect each machine.
We’ll provide our Chromebook policies and procedures guide closer to the start of the school year to answer additional questions you might have.
We’re thrilled to be able to utilize just one more tool in educating the heads, hearts, and hands of our students for life, work, and ministry in the 21st century!