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Should Chesterfield hand out laptops to students?

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Chesterfield County Public Schools is considering following suit behind Henrico schools and giving students laptops.

Chesterfield school leaders say the plan would phase in more than 13,000 chromebooks over a two-year period, costing over $2 million. The first students to use the new laptops would be middle schoolers in the 2014-2015 school year.

The following year, school leaders want to spend another $5.5 million to phase in almost 19,000 more laptops for high schoolers.

Some parents say the benefits for students would certainly outweigh the costs.

"Both my kids said it would help just to do everything online," Kendall Wallace, a James River High parent said. "That's the way things are going these days. They do all their research online. It would be great."

Others are considering students who are without internet at home and how that would limit the full use of their computer.

"I think that the teachers need to remember that every student has a unique situation," Tiffany Ferreira, another Chesterfield parent said.

Chesterfield school leaders say they are considering this issue in their planning as well, saying they are hoping to work with community faith-based organizations and local libraries to provide wireless internet access after school. Officials also said that they plan on helping families link up with companies with low-cost internet access so that more students can use the tool to its full capacity.


  • Robin Bailey

    No!! I think they sholdn’t. Why not books. What’s wrong with books. This is why these kids are not learning anything, they let the computers do all the thinking and it’s a shame.

    • TerryAnn

      I totally agree with you Robin. In addition to the amount of lost money from irresponsible students who will lose and break these “toys”. Chesterfield seriously needs to reconsider how and where they waste their money!

  • jeroldg

    yes,this is just to make teachers jobs easier.In henrico they give out homework requiring internet without even bothering to see if everyone has internet at home.Not to mention most ip user agreements state to not let any computer you do not have admin. rights on connect to your network.yet Henrico has done it anyway.We have teachers using internet sites to teach our kids instead of doing their jobs.I guess soon we won’t really need the teachers?Look at Henrico’s scores lately,clearly it has not helped.Remember when teachers became teachers for a reason other then summers off,its rare now.They do half the work now and still whine about money.

  • jerold

    um that would be you and me and anybody but the people that don’t pay taxes.Oh and heres a thought that henrico did not even consider.They want you to connect these things to your network and in most cases sharing is turned on,so if you share things in your house with other devices this thing will be sniffing all your info and you have no control over it.Henrico’s doing it and they think for some reason they deserve to use up data and hold you liable for anything downloaded to this laptop.Don’t forget the IT guys with the county pass no background or security checks.And if the password for your network is saved,which it will be they now have that.I know most parents don’t think about this type of thing so the ones that have face a challenge.Henrico is just playing dumb at this point.

  • Caleb G

    From the perspective of a student attending Henrico’s Center for Education, I just want to comment on a few things.

    First: Computers are the future. Whether it’s art, science, or even music, computers are pushing themselves into every facet of modern life.

    Second: Because of computers and technology in general becoming so ubiquitous, it’s extremely important that kids be exposed to them outside of social media at home. Even moreso for kids without internet at home, being knowledgeable on a computer is important. That, is “what’s wrong with books.”

    Third: Having constant access to a computer allows students to explore their computer-based interests without being restrained to a library. Whether this is computer art, video editing, writing, engineering or programming, there’s something to be said for having access to a resource.

    Fourth: Not having internet at home is not going to kill anybody’s grades. Many teachers are willing to make accommodations (paper versions of online articles, for example), and most schools have some sort of study-hall-like downtime for students to do their homework in. This is usually sufficient time to do homework.

    Fifth: Teachers do not “use internet sites to teach kids instead of doing their jobs” any more than teachers hand out 30 copies of xeroxed worksheets to complete over teaching. There’s a balance, and any teacher worth their salt will find it.

    I am an avid supporter of this. Good for you, Chesterfield.

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