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    Student Laptop Distribution at Rainier Beach High School
    Posted on 12/11/2019
    A student stands by a table with three adults sitting down to pick up their school laptop

    Student Laptop Distribution at Rainier Beach High School

    One-to-one. By the year 2021, that will be the ratio of high school students to laptops in Seattle Public Schools. Starting with schools in most need of technical support, the district’s Department of Technical Services (DoTS) is distributing laptops to high school students across the district.

    “I like how our school is getting more resources for learning,” Rainier Beach High School junior Tia said of the district’s one-to-one (1:1) laptop program. “Since we have more resources, I feel like we could get stuff done faster.”

    Tia and her classmates gathered in the school library on December 4 and 5 to receive their brand-new laptops. Seattle School Board Director Brandon Hersey and Superintendent Denise Juneau joined school staff and DoTS to pass out the laptops to students.

    “I think they’re excited about it,” Tia said of her peers. “We get to experience bringing technology home and doing our work there.”

    Rainier Beach is the fourth high school in the district to receive laptops as a part of the 1:1 program. Funded by the BTA IV Capital Levy, the program seeks to provide equitable access to technology for each student while ensuring their safety by including content filters that limit the sites that may be accessed.

    “I hope that what it means is everyone has access to the same resources,” Director of Technology Infrastructure Nancy Petersen said. “A lot of kids have smartphones, they have computers at home, they have access to a number of different devices, but many households do not. We want everybody to have the same advantages.”

    Two staff help distribute laptops to studentsIn creating the 1:1 program, district staff spoke with students to better understand how technology could improve their educational experience. Some students shared that they had never had a home computer before. With laptops, students said they would finally have consistent access to the tools they needed to succeed – they could regularly check their grades, write essays, apply to colleges, and more.

    In the classroom, computers provide students better access to materials that are always up to date. As Petersen put it, “you don't have a science book that still says we might go to the moon someday.”

    At Rainier Beach, Assistant Principal Renee Willette shared her excitement for what digital learning could look like in the classroom.

    “I've watched teachers as students are actually writing their papers or working at something, the teacher can see every kid's work and immediately give feedback,” Willette said.

    Technology supports educators in providing real time support while helping students learn responsible digital citizenship and 21st century skills.

    To add to the excitement, Rainier Beach plans to hold a laptop cover decorating contest the week before winter break.

    “We’re really just trying to motivate our kids to get excited about laptops as a tool,” Willette said. “Some students were more worried about it because they don't have that background and they find it easier just to write everything down. So, to me, that just showcases the equity issue for our kids and just how important it is to get these laptops in their hands.”

    Learn more about the district’s one-to-one Student Laptop Program.