Henry County Schools approved the purchase of new student laptops during the January 10 board meeting. In addition, the nearly $40 million dollar purchase includes new teacher devices, device warranties and initial device set-up.
Five years ago, in March 2017, the school district approved the first purchase of student laptops. At the time, the district spent $36 million from education SPLOST V funds. Now, this weekâ€™s purchase will update and replace the student devices using E-SPLOST VI dollars. Voters approved E-SPLOST VI in March 2021.
New Student Laptops
The purchase of new devices includes the following:
- 46,000 Hewlett Packard (HP) Chromebook 11 G9 laptops for student use
- 5,650 Hewlett Packard (HP) ProBook 440 G8 laptops for teacher use
- 5,000 USB-C docking stations
- 10,500 USB-C power adapters
- 5 years of accidental damage repair and replacement plan
- Initial device set-up
The total purchase price for all of the above is $39,800,350.
Previously, the district purchased Chromebook 11 G5 laptops for students and ProBook 430 laptops for teachers. The new purchase is later versions of similar devices. Virtucom had the best proposal to supply the devices and won the contract.
The district anticipates the new devices to be ready before the 2022â€“23 school year. Schools will coordinate device swaps for students after they return in August.
Lexicon submitted the best proposal for device set-up, repair warranty services and recycling old devices. They received the contract for each of these services.
The company will offer the district a fixed price of $3 per unit to recycle the old units. Other companies had price tiers based on the condition of the device.
ChromeBook for all grade levels
Presently, students in grades 3-12 receive a Chromebook for class use. Going forward, this will include all grade levels K-12.
The district purchased iPads in 2017 for students in grades K-2. Following the new laptop purchase, the district will phase them out. District IT staff worked with teachers before choosing to make the switch. They found Chromebooks were more beneficial in more use cases than the iPads.
Featured image shows students in a classroom with student laptops. Photo credit Henry County Schools.
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