Huntington Schools Offer Laptop Leasing for Students

Gateway School District Offers New Round of Laptops for Student Lease

Gateway school district in Huntington, MA, is offering a new round of laptop leases to students for the 2007-08 school year! Gateway’s 1 to 1 Laptop Program gives all students in grades 7 – 12 the opportunity to lease or purchase their own personal laptop for use at school and at home.

Registration forms and lease agreements must be submitted by August 1st; laptops will be distributed to families the week of August 27th.

Informational meetings for all interested families will be held in the Gateway Performing Arts Center (Middle/High School complex) at 6:30 p.m. on July 17; 6:00 p.m. on July 19; and 6:30 p.m. on July 26.

These meetings will provide a thorough overview of the program, the laptops available for lease or purchase and how to enroll your child. Parents and students are also encouraged to visit the project website: www.grsd.org/1to1 .

Free of charge to participating families: monthly parent and student trainings to build computer skills, and a free summer Digital Film Camp for students and adults. In addition, all students who lease or purchase a laptop may also sign up for FREE Internet access from home, through the Gateway On-Line Internet dial-up service. This service provides locally dialed, unlimited dial-up Internet access, free email, and optional free content filtering for student and family use. Families can sign-up online at www.grsd.org/gatewayonline.

Because the district works with an ever- growing number of laptop leases, it has the ability to put durable, high quality, well-configured laptops into the hands of students at a very affordable price. A number of laptop vendors are providing very competitive bids to participate in this program. Parents can either purchase a laptop outright, or submit an affordable monthly lease payment for 24 or 36 months. At the end of their lease, parents can purchase their laptop for $1.00. For students that graduate or leave the district prior to the end of the lease period, Gateway will prorate the cost and allow them to purchase the laptop early.

The district provides a 50% discount on the lease or purchase of a specific laptop to any student who qualifies for free lunch will receive. Students who qualify for reduced lunch receive a 25% discount on the lease of purchase of a similar laptop.

Over the last few years, Gateway teachers have been developing online resources to strengthen and augment classroom instruction, resulting in increased learning opportunities for students. A number of Gateway teachers are also currently enrolled in a Master’s Program in Educational Technology with Westfield State College, under a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education. All new textbooks for the district are required to have a digital version, to reduce the amount of materials that students have to carry to and from school. Since the completion of the building program, all Gateway schools have enjoyed wireless Internet access—making laptop computers the perfect technology resource for students.

The laptops are insured through Safeware as part of the lease package. This protection plan covers accidental damage and theft. This insurance opportunity may also be purchased by families who pay for their laptop in full.

Gateway’s 1 to 1 Laptop Program has received national recognition as an affordable and sustainable solution for educational technology. Most recently, the program was featured at the National Visionary Conference on April 26-27 in Washington D.C. One of the speakers at the invitation-only national technology conference was Karen Archer Perry, who identified best practices for 1:1 laptop programs, citing Gateway’s program as among the six best models in the nation.

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