Wellesley High School is plotting a Bring Your Own Laptop program — budget approval pending — for the start of next school year that would require students to have a laptop to use throughout the day for schoolwork. Students are currently encouraged to bring laptops.
Parents are being asked to take a survey to help the school plan/budget, as students will have the option of bringing their own device (Mac or PC), buying a Macbook Air through the school (for likely $1,300-$1,400) or using a school device during the day and home machine at home. Recommended device specs can be seen here.
Families with financial need will be provided assistance.
Wellesley already has a 1:1 iPad tablet program in place for younger students.
Current 8th graders (class ’21) were the first cohort to start the 1:1 program back when they were in fifth grade, says Pete Ritter, 1:1 coordinator/ITS for Wellesley Public Schools. “The difference with grade 5 iPads is that they don’t go home with students (iPad carts in classrooms). The middle school students in grades 6-8 can take them home for assignments,” he says. (You can find some background on the program in these blog posts from last year.)
One note about the laptops: WPS will not be managing those devices for students like they do with the iPads. There will be Internet filters in school, but WPS won’t use software to lock down the machines or manage updates on students’ machines.