SLVUSD Personally Owned Laptop, BYOD Initiative
believe that it is increasingly important for students to have the
ability to utilize technology as a tool to access information, research
topics of interest, and to apply the technology skills in their daily
work at school and at home. Student owned devices provide students with
the opportunity to have ownership of the technology need to complete
work in the 21st century. Every college and career path requires
students to utilize technology both in the classroom and in preparation
for the work setting.
owns many laptop computers (Chromebooks) on mobile carts and has a
variety of computer lab settings to serve students at all school sites.
While we encourage families in grades 6-12 to purchase laptops or
other devices for their student's use , we will continue to provide
in-school devices for classroom use. We are committed to providing financial assistance
to families who with to purchase a Chromebook, but cannot afford to do
so. Students may also utilize the SLVHS Library to complete assignments
and access the Internet after school on a daily basis until 5:00pm,
Monday through Friday each week. We are also committed to assisting
families in obtaining low cost Internet service if they do not currently
have Internet connectivity and wish to obtain service.
will continue to participate in discussion groups, project-based
learning, and interactions with other students and teachers throughout
the school day. Class time will be utilized to optimize learning
opportunities and to provide direct instruction from teachers for all
students. Chromebooks and laptops will assist in classwork where
appropriate during school hours.
Why Technology? Why Student Owned Devices?
1. Preparing Students for College and Career
are keenly aware of the technology around them. They rely on laptops,
desktops, iPods, tablets, cell phones, calculators, and a variety of
devices to investigate unknown information, solve problems, communicate,
and complete assignments in and outside of school. Students will
continue to improve their keyboarding, research, and communication
skills throughout middle school and high school that will prepare them
for future college and career opportunities. Students who possess their
own technology know how to use it in a most efficient manner and can
access information quickly and at any time.
2. Addressing Individual Differences
allows the classroom teacher to design instruction to support the
individual learning styles of students. The pace of the lesson can be
adjusted to meet the needs of each student. A variety of content areas
are available on-line that can assist learning for students who need
additional review or practice. Enriched coursework or acceleration can
assist advanced students. Parents can also access academic information
and help their students at home.
access to technology and devices allows for assessment that can be
immediately scored, and disaggregated into meaningful data for the
teacher. Teachers can then design and implement follow-up instruction
and learning opportunities for students. Teachers can also provide
accelerated instruction for students who are proficient in the subject
matter. Students and parents can access assessments and results to
better assist students in further preparing for class.
are increasingly asked to respond to class discussions, research, or
solve to problems in a group setting. Laptops and/or ChromeBooks allow
students to communicate and participate in class and group work after
school and to continue the learning process beyond the classroom
setting. This also enables students and parents to review on-line
curriculum from home.
5. Responsibility and Self Confidence
increasingly see that students who own their own devices (laptops,
iPads, phones) gain confidence and pride of ownership. They also learn
how to care for their own device, and master the required skills
necessary to operate it. Just as students learn to care for toys, bikes,
and electronics, they develop and build responsibility in self as they
grow. Educators across the country continue to find that students as
young as second grade are able to care for and transport laptops, and
other technology from home to school. Teachers will continue to provide
assistance in technology, and the care and appropriate usage of
technology. Classroom teachers will teach keyboarding, search
strategies, and research skills, but students who practice and regularly
work on their own devices gain confidence and belief in their own
Assembly Bill (AB) 1575
1575 specifies that school districts may not charge fees or costs of
supplies that the district is otherwise obligated to provide under the
idea of a “free and public education system.” AB 1575 does not prevent
schools from asking for donations or for suggesting that parents
purchase school supplies, instructional tools, and/or supplemental
materials for school or home usage. Furthermore, SLVUSD will provide
ChromeBooks for school use and for check-out for home use to all
students who do not have their own device and require a laptop to
complete work. We will also assist families in purchasing devices who
Know Your Rights - Free Public Education in California
Frequently Asked Questions
May a school charge students for elective classes or extracurricular activities?
- No. Schools
may not charge fees for participation in classes or extracurricular
activities. It does not matter if the class or activity is compulsory or
elective. Prohibited fees include required security deposits or
required purchases of materials or equipment necessary for participation
in the class or extracurricular activity.
Does AB 1575 prohibit any student fees that were previously legal?
- No. AB
1575 explicitly states that it is “declarative of existing law and
shall not be interpreted to prohibit the imposition of a fee, deposit,
or other charge otherwise allowed by law.” (California Education Code
Section 49011(e).) The goal of AB 1575 is to ensure all students’
constitutional rights are protected by improving awareness of existing
law and providing a means for resolving concerns swiftly and without
May a school charge fees only to those students who can afford them and offer waivers for those who cannot?
- No. A waiver process based on financial need or inability to pay does not make an otherwise impermissible fee permissible.
Are there any fees that a school may charge?
- Yes. There
are some specific fees, charges and deposits that are legally
permissible because they are specifically authorized by state law and
not otherwise prohibited by the state constitution. For example, schools
may charge for: optional attendance as a spectator at a school or
district-sponsored activity (e.g., attending a school dance); food
served to students, subject to free and reduced price meal program
eligibility and other restrictions; the cost of replacing school books
or supplies loaned to a student that the student fails to return or
willfully damages (up to an amount not to exceed $10,000).
For more information on other fees authorized by stat law:
May a school request and receive donations from parents and guardians?
Yes, of course. Schools, districts, school programs,
teachers and coaches can, and do seek, and accept voluntary donations of
funds and property. The key point is that the donations must be truly
voluntary. A student’s participation in a class, program or activity
cannot be conditioned upon receipt of a “donation.” To avoid any
misinterpretations, AB 1575 includes a provision that states that the
bill “shall not be interpreted to prohibit solicitation of voluntary
donations of funds or property, voluntary participation in fundraising
activities, or school districts, schools, and other entities from
providing pupils prizes or other recognition for voluntarily
participating in fundraising activities.” (California Education Code
What can I do if I believe I am being charged an illegal fee?
- You may
raise your concern with school or district administrators and request
reimbursement where appropriate. As described above, you now have the
option of filing a complaint at your school and seeking reimbursement
through the simple Uniform Complaint Process. If you wish to explore all
of your legal options, you should consult with an attorney.
Where can I find more information about the "free school guarantee" and the legality of specific type of fees?
While we can offer no endorsement or assurances of
accuracy, you may find the following resources useful: the California
Department of Education distributed a fiscal management advisory
regarding pupil fees, deposits and other charges to all County and
District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators on November
9, 2011: http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/lr/fm/.
California’s Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) has
posted Guidelines for Student Fees, published by the Tulare County
Counsel, on its website: http://wwwstatic.kern.org/gems/fcmat/StudentfeesguidelinesTulareC.pdf
Where can I get a copy of Assembly Bill 1575?
Many school districts have information about student fees
on their websites now. For example, San Diego Unified School District
provides an overview of how the law regarding student fees has
SLVUSD staff has an essential goal to provide equity in learning
opportunities for all students. Currently, students bring a variety of
laptops, Chromebooks, and tablets to school. We are committed to
assisting families in providing these learning tools for all students.
It is important to note that students are not required to bring their
own electronic devices to school. The District will continue to provide
computers and laptops for student use. There is no requirement in any
curricular area for students to bring their own device to support their
learning or to purchase special software.
- The District will offer Chromebooks for a reduced price to students on free and reduced lunch, or with a financial need.
- Chromebooks will be available in each class as in-class loaners for students who don't have a Chromebook or laptop.
will work with school administration to ensure that all students will
be able to complete assignments, with or without electronic devices.
SLVHS Library will be open each day before and after school for Middle
School and High School students who do not have Internet service. The
Library has a full computer lab and unrestricted Wi-Fi access.
- Offline options are available to students for homework purposes if they do not have Internet access at home.
- Internet for $10 a month by Comcast: SLVUSD will assist families in getting Comcast Internet Essentials if they desire the service. The Comcast requirements are as follows:
- Be located where Comcast offers service.
- Have at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program.
- Have not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days.
- No outstanding Comcast debt that is under one year old.
- If Comcast isn't responsive to individual families, please contact Cathy Frost for assistance. Email or phone: 335-5384.
are a simple laptop designed for browser use. That said, there are few
settings and personalization options. Below are links to articles
about settings and personalization.
Digital Citizenship - Family Resources
Common Sense Media is
dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology.
Common Sense Media empowers parents, teachers, and policymakers by
providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to
help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force
in all kids’ lives.
Parent Survey Results, December 2014
parent survey was distributed to parent of students in grades 2-11 in
November and December, 2014. A link to the parent survey is provided here.
- 77% of the parents responded.
- 94% have Internet at home
- 10-14% expressed interest in the $10/month Comcast Internet Essentials program.
- 35% of families reported that they currently own a laptop.
- 46% of families said they would buy a Chromebook/laptop.
- 25% of families were interested in assistance to purchase a Chromebook.
- 7% of families answered no to all of the laptop/Chromebook questions.
Student Technology Acceptable Use Policy
Please keep in mind some of these policies are out of date and being updated.
- Click here for the Student Use of Technology - Board Policy 6134.4.
- Click here for the Student Use of Technology - Administrative Regulations - 6163.4
- Click here for the Student Use of Technology Exhibit or Form - 6163.4
Suggestions or Comments?
Please email comments or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. All emails will be available for reading and consideration by our EduTech committee.
Buying a Chromebook or Laptop
Chromebooks or laptops on Amazon using the links below donates 2% of
the purchase price to a SLV parent organization dedicated to helping our
district's students. You may also choose to purchase a device any other
online source or retail store.
Below is a sample of Chromebooks and laptops and the related size and price. Prices below are subject to change. These
prices don't reflect tax, optional insurance, and protective covers
and/or sleeves. These products are listed because they meet the
specifications above and would be appropriate for student use at school
is frequently offered by the vendor and may be bought at the time of
laptop purchase. The most common damage occurs from beverage spills or
- Chromebook and laptop shell cases may offer some protection.
- Chromebook and laptop sleeves may also offer some protection.
a Chromebook with the minimum configuration of 2GB of RAM and a 16GB
SSD works fine for school requirements. Buying a model with 4GB of RAM
and a 32GB disk allows for more speed when having lots of windows open.
following suggestions are recommended guidelines for effective student
use of a laptop or device to be used in school and at home as an
instructional tool. Most laptops or devices purchased in the last 3
years will meet the minimum specifications listed below.
hour battery life: Plugging in a laptop to recharge at school isn't
practical given the few power outlets, hundreds of students, and the
tripping hazard of power cords extended from outlets. Battery life is
important and recent laptops/devices have far better battery life than
device needs to boot fast, in under 30 seconds. Chromebooks (a type of
laptop) boot in 10 seconds. When using a laptop in class, it needs to
be able to wake up or boot quickly.
Loud fan noises coming from a laptop or device may not be appropriate
in a classroom. Most newer laptops and Chromebooks have a quiet fans or
- Google gives public K-12 schools free and ad-free access to Google Apps for Education.
This saves the District thousands of dollars each year. Any laptop or
device needs to support the latest versions of browsers, like Chrome,
Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox. The district uses Google Apps for
Education and the browser needs to be compatible. Old systems running
Windows XP won't work.
keyboard is essential for the classroom setting: typing on a real,
non-glass, keyboard will work better for school assignments.
are an excellent value and meet all of the requirements above for the
least amount of money. Other laptops running Windows or MacBooks are
also excellent choices and may meet your specific application needs
better, but they are also more expensive.
security, Chromebooks are more secure than Windows or Mac computers.
Chromebooks are based on a stripped down Linux OS with built-in boot
checks and very few executables to attack, further information provided here.
No Internet at Home: Chromebook or
Laptop Purchasing Considerations
Internet access isn't available at your home, your student will need to
use the Chromebook or laptop in an offline mode. A Chromebook with a
larger than 16GB SSD is more suitable for doing school work offline.
You may also consider a $8-$20 USB drive to extend offline storage for
the Chromebook. Laptops generally have more offline (local) storage
Chromebooks are not the Right Choice if...
are not the right choice for students who use advanced or specific
desktop applications like Adobe Photoshop or programming environments
designed for Windows and/or Mac's. Some parents consider a more
expensive laptop that will later be used for college. Students who are
enrolled in graphic design, video, photography, networking, or
programming classes may have a need for another device that offers more
FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions
- Are families required to buy a laptop or Chromebook for their student?
- No. We
encourage families to buy a Chromebook or laptop for their students,
however, this is a recommendation, not a requirement. Click here for a legal summary about free education, permissible fees and California law AB 1575.
Encouraging participation in our BYOD program is part of our commitment
to providing an education that leads to the best opportunities for our
- What if my student doesn't bring a laptop to school?
school will have laptops available for in-classroom use. We also have
extended library hours before and after school for students who need
time on a computer. Teachers will assist students with "off-line"
options for those without Internet service.
- Are laptops going to be used everyday in all of the classes?
The laptop is one of many resources available to teachers and
students. Classroom instruction and activities work best when there is a
variety of learning oppportunities. However, access to technology is a
basic educational tool for the 21st century classroom. Having laptops
available on-demand is now part of meeting the needs of student
- Does the school/district pay for a student's laptop stolen or damaged at school?
Student laptops are like other personal property brought to school by a
student. However, we highly recommend that parents consider insurance
coverage offered when purchasing the Chromebook or laptop. Insurance
coverage should be evaluated based on the cost and coverage provided for
loss and damage.
- What about PE at the Middle School and how will students keep their laptops secure?
Summer, new and larger PE lockers will be installed at the Middle
School that can accommodate backpacks, clothes and laptops.
- Will having a Chromebook/laptop add to the weight of my student's backpack?
necessarily, Chromebooks or laptops will allow teachers to re-evaluate
the other required supplies. Some on-line resources will be used and may
eliminate the need for the daily transport of textbooks.
- What about families that can't afford laptops?
a family cannot afford a laptop, the District will offer financial
assistance. Any student on Free or Reduced Lunch is eligible to buy a
Chromebook from the District for a discounted price. If your student(s)
are not on Free or Reduced Lunch, please apply here.
If you have any questions or difficulty applying, please call Cathy
Frost at 335-5384 or drop by the Cafeteria anytime between 7-3pm.
- How will a child's education differ if the family does not have an Internet connected device to bring to school?
lessons are collaborative allowing students to work together, sharing
information accessed through devices. When the work is individual,
students may use computers and other devices located in the classrooms
and/or Library. No child's learning experience or academic performance
should be affected because he or she does not have a laptop or device to
bring to school.
District Network and Security
district's 5 schools (BCE, SLVE, SLVMS, SLVHS, Charter) share a 1
gigabit Internet connection. This 1Gb connection is generally
considered to be enough and it meets our needs.
- All schools are connected with 1Gb links.
- All school network segments connect into a Palo Alto Networks PA-3050. The PA-3050 is our firewall and has excellent threat visibility into every network segment.
- All 125 classrooms in the district each have a Meraki/Cisco wireless access point (WAP).
These WAP's were chosen to support high density wireless computer use.
All of the WAP's have 1Gb connections over CAT6 cables to Cisco PoE
switches, which in turn have 1Gb connections over fiber back to each
school's network distribution frame.
- URL filtering is excellent and occurs in-line on the PA-3050 and is updated every night.
no longer store student or staff social security numbers. We also do
not store personal or financial information of students and families, or
source of confidential information stored at the schools or district is
actively eliminated or removed from network connectivity.
is committed to preparing our teachers for a BYOD initiative, and for
using technology in the classroom to impact student achievement.
Instructional technology professional development has been a focus for
the last two years, and will continue as a focus area for the future.
Teachers are learning to use technology as a powerful tool in the
classroom to support student learning. Some examples of professional
development for SLVUSD teachers include the following:
professional development days have provided a variety of technology
training options, including using web applications to improve student
writing, Web 2.0 tools for communication and student student
assignments, Learning Management Systems and organizational tools.
- Approximately 40 teachers have attended the SLVUSD technology cadres,
specifically to learn how to integrate software applications into
lesson plans to create engaging and Common Core aligned lessons.
has 15 Chromebook carts, 2 iPad carts, 6 computer labs and other pods
of computers, giving teachers ample access to instructional technology.
- Teachers are using Learning Management System (LMS) applications, including Schoology and Hapara to manage technology in the classroom.
High School and Middle School math courses have fully integrated
computers into their mathematics instructional program. The current
application set includes Pearson Successnet, Pearson MathXL and Pearson Realize.
student grades 2-12 has a Google Apps for Education account, including
email and documents. (Students in grades 2-8 can only email teachers and
other students inside the district, for security purposes.)
have a full time technology coach (a credentialed teacher) to work with
staff in using technology in the classroom to student achievement.
- We will hire a secondary technology coach to support the Middle School and High School for 2015-2016.
- The SLVUSD staff has been using Google Apps for Education for over 5 years.
- All 125 classrooms in the district have a projector and an Apple TV for mirroring computer displays.