Springfield schools expands $6.3M tech program to youngest students


The Springfield City School District is set to expand its one-to-one technology initiative to some of its youngest students in February.

Beginning Feb. 5 and through Feb. 23, kindergarten through second-grade students across the district will begin to receive their own laptop. The cost of the expansion is more than $864,000. The overall one-to-one initiative has cost the district $6.3 million.

While the cost is high, Springfield Superintendent Bob Hill said it’s extremely valuable.

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“A one-to-one technology program provides accessibility features that help our students access content and build confidence in their learning style,” Hill said. “The district strives to ensure that our students are future-ready for pathways that include college or career.”

With the addition of kindergarten through second-grade students into the program, Hill said every k-12th grade Springfield student will now have a computer. The district has more than 7,700 students.

“Our district technology plan is to continue to provide the most current technology for our students to ensure that we maximize future success,” Hill said. “Providing this tool to our younger students will allow in-depth engagement in math fluency, reading comprehension and many other foundational needs that are important during the early years of learning.”

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Students between kindergarten and eighth grades will be required to leave their laptops at school at the end of the day, district spokeswoman Cherie Moore said. High school students can take the laptops home with them.

Students will do a number of activities and learning on the computers, Snowhill Principal Jennifer Paxson said.

“We live in a digital world,” Paxson said. “Being able to provide our students one-to-one technology allows us to prepare them.”

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Giving kids the opportunities is important, she said.

“We are so excited to bring the iPads and the laptops into the k-through-two classrooms so that we can introduce them to some project-based learning. It really promotes collaboration,” Paxson said.

The school district has expanded its one-to-one technology program over the past few years. The school buys laptops for each student. Breakage, loss or theft has been a small issue in the past, Hill said.

“There have been several device thefts and when this happens, a police report is completed,” Hill said. “As with any theft, there can be a cost to the owner and we have had to replace a minimal number of devices at replacement value. This replacement cost does become a district expense.”

The replacement cost varies based on the time of the purchase, he said.

“The one-to-one program has given our students access to tools and resources that improve the way that they learn,” he said. “The promise of a college and career equipped future, without technological barriers for our SCSD students, has made the program well worth the investment.”



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