FAQs

Contents

  1. 1 For Parents
    1. 1.1 Why did the district choose a 1:1 Initiative? 
    2. 1.2 Why did the district pilot a different model at the middle school than at the high school to meet the 1:1 Initiative?  
    3. 1.3 Will teachers be getting training?
    4. 1.4 Will students be getting training?
    5. 1.5 What are the expectations for the model?
    6. 1.6 What happens if the Chromebook my child is issued has technical issues and/or is in need of repair? 
    7. 1.7 Will my child be able to bring the Chromebook home? 
    8. 1.8 Will my child be able to use the Chromebook at home? 
    9. 1.9 Can my child leave the Chromebook at school? 
    10. 1.10 Does my child have to use the school Chromebook at home? 
    11. 1.11 How will my child connect to the Internet with the Chromebook at home? 
    12. 1.12 Will there be filtering on the Chromebook while my child is at home? 
    13. 1.13 Can my child use a personal account to log into the school Chromebook when at home? 
    14. 1.14 What if I want my child to be able to access different things on the Chromebook like Netflix? 
    15. 1.15 How does the district decide what to filter? 
    16. 1.16 What happens if my child's device becomes inoperable?
  2. 2 For Students
    1. 2.1 Where can I find the Acceptable Use Agreement for middle school students?
    2. 2.2 Can I add anything to my Chromebook?
    3. 2.3 Can I decorate my Chromebook? 
    4. 2.4 How will I be able to tell me Chromebook from others if I can't decorate it? 
    5. 2.5 Why can't I bring in my own device? 
    6. 2.6 Can I log in with a different Google Account on my Chromebook? 
    7. 2.7 What happens if my Chromebook stops working in school? 
    8. 2.8 What happens if my Chromebook stops working at home? 


For Parents


Why did the district choose a 1:1 Initiative? 

Every student can have the necessary information "anytime" and "anywhere"
Supports differentiation of instruction and personalized learning
Provides a continuous interactive environment 
Allows for individual practice and extends learning 

Why did the district pilot a different model at the middle school than at the high school to meet the 1:1 Initiative?  

Since 2012 the district has been working on a Board of Education goal, outlined in our 5-year Strategic Technology Plan, to implement a 1:1 learning environment in the district. The question has always been, how would we accomplish this?  There are several different models in use across the country and specifically in neighboring towns.  We want to choose the model(s) that best suits our community. We also realize that choosing a single model for the entire district may not be feasible or wise. 

In the spring of 2016 the district was awarded a state grant for computers. This grant is allowing us the opportunity to provide all sixth grade students with a Chromebook to see if there is a difference between asking middle school students to bring in a device on their own, like we do at the high school, or to use a device that is provided to them. The high school ran several different pilots, but on smaller scales since we only had limited grant money and operating funds. It was determined that at the high school level, it made sense for students to bring in a device that worked best for them. We realize that at the middle school level, some parents may not want to send in a device with their child, especially an expensive one. We wanted to see if providing a device at the middle school level worked better for middle school families and students, or if we should implement a BYOD model. 

Will teachers be getting training?

A full complement of professional development activities will be offered to teachers and administrators to enable the implementation of the 1:1 initiative to be performed successfully.  

Will students be getting training?

Students will have orientation lessons on how to use the Chromebooks. Students will also be involved in lessons regarding the Acceptable Use Agreement and digital citizenship. 

What are the expectations for the model?

Specific guidelines and expectations can be found at the following links
Students will have a Chromebook assigned to them in the same way textbooks are assigned
All Chromebooks will be handed out with covers that must remain on the Chromebooks at all times
Students must maintain the Chromebook and cover as they do textbooks and return them at the end of the year. The same Chromebook will be checked back out to your child the following year throughout their middle school career. 

What happens if the Chromebook my child is issued has technical issues and/or is in need of repair? 

Spare Chromebooks will be placed in each classroom in case a student’s Chromebook dies or malfunctions.

If a student’s Chromebook is not working, they use the classroom spare computer until they can drop their assigned Chromebook off at the library and exchange it for a working one. The library assistant will check out a different working Chromebook to the student, update the assignment in Destiny, and put in a tech request for the broken Chromebook. District technicians will repair the Chromebook and return it to the library assistant who will then return it to the student. We believe the pilot will be a success and are expecting the students to use the same Chromebook for all three years they are in the middle school.  Each class of new 6th graders will be given newly purchased Chromebooks. 

An additional powerstrip will be installed in each classroom to allow for students to charge their Chromebooks when not in use. Charging should only be needed in an emergency or in pro-active cases.  All Chromebooks should be fully charged every day prior to being brought to school. 

Teachers are not expected to troubleshoot or fix Chromebooks  

Will my child be able to bring the Chromebook home? 

Yes. They will be expected to bring their assigned Chromebook  home every night to charge . 

Will my child be able to use the Chromebook at home? 

Students can use the Chromebooks at home by connecting to their families wireless. Students will access the Internet by connecting to the wireless at home, but will go through a proxy to our Internet Service Provider through our firewalls. The school settings and filtering will continue on the Chromebook at home.

Can my child leave the Chromebook at school? 

Students must take the Chromebook home each night for charging. We do not have secure charging available for every student at school. 

Does my child have to use the school Chromebook at home? 

Students can use their own machines at home and go through their family’s internet service and use their filter settings

How will my child connect to the Internet with the Chromebook at home? 

Students will access the Internet by connecting to the wireless at home, but will go through a proxy to our Internet Service Provider through our firewalls. This will be seamless and transparent to the students, thus school settings and filtering will continue on the Chromebook at home.

Will there be filtering on the Chromebook while my child is at home? 

Students will access the Internet by connecting to the wireless at home, but will go through a proxy to our Internet Service Provider through our firewalls and filters. Specific filtering software will not be placed on the individual machines. Students can always use a family owned computer while at home and use the filtering software and settings they choose. 

Can my child use a personal account to log into the school Chromebook when at home? 

No, each student must use their school account to login. The Chromebook settings are locked and cannot be altered. 

What if I want my child to be able to access different things on the Chromebook like Netflix? 

It depends on the program they want to access. If it is blocked at school, no. If anything has to be downloaded or added to the machine, students will not be able to access the program.  If the program only requires a browser window and it is not blocked at school, yes. 

How does the district decide what to filter? 

Web filtering is user-oriented. Regardless of whether the user is on the wired or wireless network, on their own device or ours, if they are using our network to access the Internet they experience the same web filtering.

Note that we cannot prevent access to the Internet via cellular networks.

Our general philosophy for web filtering is summarized below:
The educational benefit of the Internet outweighs its potential for harm, and access to it should be as open as possible after taking into account Federal law, age appropriateness of the user, network security, and District administrative policy.

More specifically:
For all users, we block content as required under Federal law (i.e., CIPA), as well as content identified by Fortinet to be dangerous to our users/IT infrastructure (e.g., phishing websites or websites disseminating viruses or other malware)
  • Teachers and students experience the same level of web filtering.
  • Web filtering is less restrictive as the student age increases - thus the elementary level is the most restrictive while high school level the least.
  • Categories which are vague or subjective (e.g., "Discrimination") are allowed when age-appropriate.
  • Categories which have moral or political dimensions (e.g., "Sex Education") are allowed when age-appropriate.
Web filtering is performed by our Fortinet firewalls, using two levels of granularity:
  • Categories - Included in our firewall support package is access to the FortiGuard web filtering service. Fortinet employs both staff and technology to categorize websites throughout the world.
  • URL Filtering - URL filtering enables us to allow or block a website by its address or URL. This can be used to override categorical filtering for a website, or to block a website which is not categorized.
Will my child have access to the things he would normally have with district equipment?
In preparation for the 1:1 initiative, the Technology Department has made the necessary changes to our infrastructure to meet curricular needs from any device that meets our requirements. Special purpose laptop carts and labs will be available in the event specific software or hardware is required.

What happens if my child's device becomes inoperable?

Classrooms and designated areas will offer devices that can be borrowed for the day.



For Students


Where can I find the Acceptable Use Agreement for middle school students?

http://www.westport.k12.ct.us/media/aup/aup-mshs.pdf

Do I have to use the Chromebook at home? 
No. Students can use the Chromebooks at home by connecting to their families wireless. Students who use the Chromebook at home will access the Internet by connecting to the wireless at home, but will go through a proxy to our Internet Service Provider through our firewalls. 

Can I add anything to my Chromebook?

No, the settings on the Chromebook won't allow students to add anything of their own to it. 

Can I decorate my Chromebook? 

No, it is always fun to decorate and make something your own, but the district will continue to service the machines and we must keep them all standard looking. 

How will I be able to tell me Chromebook from others if I can't decorate it? 

Before you get a Chromebook a sticker with your name, grade, and homeroom will be placed on the lower front corner. A plastic clear cover will be put on it. Both must remain on the Chromebook at all times.

Why can't I bring in my own device? 

For the pilot we are looking to see what it is like for the students all use the same device and a device that is an inexpensive Chromebook.  We need everyone to participate in order to gather good data. 

Can I log in with a different Google Account on my Chromebook? 

No, the settings on the Chromebook won''t allow you to log on with any account other than your school Google account.

What happens if my Chromebook stops working in school? 

First, you can borrow a spare computer from the classroom you are in until the class period ends. Then you will take your Chromebook to the library media center and turn it in to the library para. You will be given a temporary replacement to use until your Chromebook has been fixed. 

What happens if my Chromebook stops working at home? 

You can use any machine at home. When you arrive at school, take your Chromebook to the library media center and turn it in to the library para. You will be given a temporary replacement to use until your Chromebook has been fixed.