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GFPS offers Chromebooks to all students in grades 7 to 12

Posted at 5:21 PM, Aug 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-28 19:21:01-04

GREAT FALLS — Students in grades 7 through 12 at Great Falls Public Schools will now have their own dedicated Chromebook laptop to use in school and at home.

The laptops come with no additional cost to the student, unless they decide to purchase insurance for the device, which is only $26 a year.

“Accidents are going to happen,” Lance Boyd, an executive director of student achievement at Great Falls Public Schools said, “things are going to happen and occur, the one thing we’re also proud of and were able to watch during covid was [that] we checked devices out across our district, and very, very few of them came back with any significant damage.”

This opportunity has been in the works for years, and COVID funds helped turn the idea into a reality.

“Our technology director, Mr. Herring, has worked really hard to start that facilitation of Chromebooks across the district,” Boyd said, “COVID gave us the enhanced opportunity to use some COVID funds to be able to buy more Chromebooks and supply them more accessibly across the district because students were accessing their entire learning platform during the height of COVID online.”

While the schools are excited for the technological opportunities, they will continue to teach in a way that balances traditional paper-and-pencil learning with online learning in the coming year.

“What you definitely have to know is that it has to be a fine tune balance in order to make that instruction meaningful for each individual kid because everybody learns drastically different,” Boyd said.

Students can pick up their laptops at school before the classes begins on Wednesday, August 30, 2023.