McCracken 1:1 Take Home Program

Beginning in the Fall of 2016, Skokie School District 73½ will provide every 6th-8th grade student with a Chromebook. Students will have access a Chromebook both during the school day and at home. A Chromebook is a personal computer running Google Chrome OS as its operating system. Chromebooks are designed to be used while connected to the Internet and to support applications that reside on the Web. Chromebooks also have Google products built-in and, within seconds of logging in, students can access their personal Google Apps account.

Skokie School District 73½  is a Google Apps school district. Each student and member of the faculty and staff has a G Suite account. G Suite is an integrated communication and collaboration solution, hosted by Google and managed by Skokie School District 73½. G Suite enables Skokie School District 73½ students, faculty and staff to communicate, store files and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time from school, work, or home. G Suite serves as the foundation for the district’s digital ecosystem. Every week students and teachers are performing thousands of applications via their Google Apps accounts. A benefit of moving to Chromebooks is the fluid integration of Google products. Students will have complete access to their G Suite account and the numerous assistive tools embedded into each application.

During the first two years of our student device initiative, a content filtering system was enabled on all of the District Chromebooks. This feature, commonly referred to as SecURLy (the name of the product vendor) or proxy filter (the type of technology used), filtered the student internet content on the Chromebook regardless of the network to which it was connected. While this solution is very effective there is no replacement for rules and supervision with access to an internet device. 

The device take home program at McCracken will occur during the first week of the school year. Before receiving a device students and parents will have to review a series of informational items and both parents and students will have to sign off on a user agreement. A parent or guardian must attend a parent training that is available during residency verification or acknowledge access and agree to view our online training video which can be found at this URL: Students may not take a Chromebook home until we have a signed agreement on file and fees are paid. The student technology fee is $40. This fee was arrived at by surveying other districts and assessing our own financial needs. This fee is used to repair and replace damaged and/or lost student laptops. The fee also covers the cost of a more durable case that protects the device from damage. Please complete this agreement and return it to the McCracken front office by the first day of school. 

If students do not have access to internet at home the school district has acquired Sprint MiFis to assist with this issue. The Sprint MiFis units are for the middle school take home program at this time. Middle school students that wish to have internet access at home, but do not have it, can contact their advisory teacher for a MiFi agreement form. The MiFi device will be lent to qualifying families for the duration of the school year. The unit must be returned with the Chromebook at the end of the year or upon request.

The district is excited about the extension of a 1:1 program and the endless possibilities of teaching and learning in a connected world. Informational items will be posted on the district’s website with continual updates about the 1:1 program occurring throughout the year. If you have any questions regarding Skokie School District 73½ 1:1 Chromebook take home program please reach out to Mr. Nathan McBride, Director of Innovations and Instructional Technology, or your school administration.