More than 170 high schools representing about 84 percent of Idaho’s high school students signed up to participate in the first one-third of schools receiving laptops in the state’s one-to-one initiative in 2013.
“We are overwhelmed by the support from Idaho’s schools and educators,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said. “Through the Students Come First laws, we now are on the path to provide equal access and opportunity to all students in Idaho – no matter where they live. It is clear that parents, teachers, school leaders and students are demanding this technology and want it in their classrooms as soon as possible to help raise academic achievement and prepare every student to go on to postsecondary education and the workforce.”
Under the Students Come First reform laws, the state is transforming every classroom into a 21st Century Classroom by investing $9 million a year in state-of-the-art technology in grades K-12 and implementing a one-to-one ratio of students and teachers to laptops in every public high school.
Teachers, principals and other certified staff in every high school will receive laptop devices in Fall 2012 as well as a year of intensive professional development on how to integrate this technology in the classroom curriculum. The state is funding $4 million a year in ongoing professional development.
Based on a recommendation of a statewide technology task force, the state will deploy laptop devices to high schools statewide over the next three years, beginning in Fall 2013. In the 2013-2014 school year, one-third of Idaho’s high schools will be equipped with laptop devices and the necessary software, maintenance, security and support to reach a one-to-one ratio in the school. By 2015, the state will complete this one-to-one ratio in every Idaho high school.
The state will cover the costs of these devices as well as the repair, maintenance, software and security. The state also is working to make every Idaho high school a wireless environment in the next year.
To determine which schools would participate in the first round of deployment, the State Department of Education asked schools to submit a letter of interest by February 17, signed by the district superintendent or school board chair. The Department received 99 letters of interest representing 174 different high schools and nearly 68,000 students statewide. This makes up an estimated 84 percent of Idaho’s high school students, which is far more than the one-third of students the state will be able to deploy to beginning in 2013.
The Department will develop a rubric to determine which schools are most ready to benefit and should participate in the first deployment of one-to-one devices for students in 2013. The Department anticipates selecting schools by the end of the current school year.
To see the full list of schools and districts that signed up to participate, visit http://www.studentscomefirst.org/mobiledevices.htm and click on the “Letters of Interest” list.