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APS Expands Student Device Program to All Grades

Arlington Public Schools is expanding its “one-to-one” digital device program to students in kindergarten, first grade and second grade.

K-2 students will be getting Apple iPads from the school system this fall, helping to assist with remote learning. APS is also buying new iPads and MacBook Air laptops to replace aging devices for older students.

In all, the school system is ordering 11,312 Apple devices, including 7,114 iPads for elementary students, 2,174 iPads for middle school students, and 2,024 MacBooks for high school students, a school spokesman tells ARLnow.

“We are providing devices for all students this year,” said Frank Bellavia. “Previously only students in grades 3-12 received devices.”

The program for supplying school-owned digital devices to students is popular with students but controversial among some parents. During the pandemic, however, it has given students from families of all income levels an opportunity to participate in electronic learning from home.

Superintendent Francisco Durán provided additional information about the new devices in a School Talk email to families last night.

The Department of Information Services is hard at work getting the students’ devices ready for the start of school. This year, APS is expanding the 1:1 program to include all students, grades PreK-12. Students in grades PreK-8 will receive iPads; middle school students will also receive iPad cases with keyboards; and students in grades 9-12 will receive Macbook Airs. When combined with our enrollment growth, APS will be providing devices to almost 10,000 additional students this year, in addition to providing middle school students with keyboard cases. As you might imagine, vendors are having difficulties filling orders quickly. Fortunately, APS placed its orders early:

  • The iPads have all arrived and are currently being set up.
  • We have received some of the MacBook Airs, and expect the rest to ship shortly along with the keyboard cases for 6th-grade students.
  • Keyboard cases for the 7th and 8th-grade students should arrive before the start of the 2nd quarter.
  • Depending on when shipments arrive from our vendors, 6th and 9th grade students may need to start the year with their existing devices. The goal is to have all devices ready by the end of August. If your student does not already have a device, you will receive information from your school in the next few weeks about how and where to pick up the device and learning tools for your student.

File photo

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