Grades 4-12 Bring Your Own Device Information
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Bring Your Own Device Information
As we approach the upcoming school year, we’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that students entering grade 4 or 5 at Park elementary, 6-8 at the middle school, and grades 9-12 at the high school will need to bring a digital learning device with them to school when we start in August as part of our “Bring Your Own Device” or BYOD initiative.
Please review the information below when considering the type of device to send to school.
We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions as well as some information on financial assistance for qualifying students.
Who needs a device?
Park Elementary : Students in grades 4 and 5.
Hutchinson Middle School: All students in grades 6-8.
Hutchinson High School: All students in grades 9-12.
What device is recommended?
We recommend the Chromebook. It has an 8 hour battery life and works well with each student’s Google Apps for Education account.
Can a student utilize a smart phone or tablet?
Our minimum device requirements developed by administrators, teachers and the technology team state that the device used for BYOD should have a keyboard. It will be difficult to impossible for a student to keep up with coursework on a phone. If a tablet is used, it must have a working keyboard and be able to run the Chrome browser. Please see the table below for more information.
Can I use a laptop for BYOD?
Laptops are discouraged for 4th and 5th grade. For 6th-12th grade, please keep in mind that laptops have shorter battery life, meaning that your child will need to bring a charger and find an outlet in class to charge. Laptops tend to be more costly to purchase, and are typically slower to load. We have also found that pre-loaded antivirus software will often cause issues when attempting to connect to our wireless network. We provide technical support in the buildings during open house to troubleshoot connectivity issues, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to facilitate a connection.
What device does the district purchase for classroom use and device checkout?
The district purchases HP 11 Chromebook or similar devices each summer for teachers and students to utilize in school.
Does it matter which brand of Chromebook I get?
No. Each Chromebook performs essentially the same functions. Some have slightly more memory than others, which explains why some are more expensive. They also vary in terms of the “ruggedness” of their cases, which can be helpful in protecting your investment against accidental damages.
What else do I need, other than a device?
We strongly recommend a case, which will help protect the device during transport to and from school, in addition to protecting your investment. Students can be hard on devices, and we have had incidents of breakage over the years due to a number of common issues, including accidental droppage, devices being crushed in backpacks, or items being closed between the screen and keyboard. A hard case along with a padded backpack will help protect student devices and ensure longevity.
Is there financial assistance available?
Yes. If your student qualifies for free and reduced lunch, and you need assistance getting a device, please contact the District Office to get the necessary paperwork. Forms to apply for the use of a District device may be found by clicking here or at the District’s Central Office, 30 Glen Street NW, Hutchinson, MN after August 1, 2020. Please note this form must be signed by both the student and the parent and the yearly fee must be paid before the student can pick up the device. If the application for use of a District device is approved, the device may be picked up at the Media Center in your student’s school building.