Community High School District 155 will spend more than $1.5 million to give all students a Google Chromebook starting next school year.
The Crystal Lake-based district, which consists of four high schools, is the latest in a growing number of local school districts to embark upon what commonly is called a “one-to-one” technology program that issues each student a cloud-based computer or tablet. Students not only will use the Chromebooks every period of the school day but also at home.
School board president Ted Wagner called the decision the continuation of “a tradition of being in the forefront of providing a high-quality educational environment for all students.” Districts are participating in such programs to improve interactive and engaging lessons, expand learning resources and extend learning beyond the classroom, according to the district.
The cost for the Chromebooks, which already is included in the district's budget, is $1.35 million, plus another $181,000 for tools and equipment to manage and support the devices. In the past several years District 155 has improved its wireless capacity, and said it can more than support the devices on top of the 5,200 mobile devices it already supports.
Superintendent Johnnie Thomas called the move “a game changer for the district.”
“I believe that leveling the playing field for all students and creating an environment that allows for learning to take place anywhere, anytime, anyplace is currently the direction of 21st century education,” Thomas said in a statement.
Other school districts that have implemented one-to-one programs for some or all of its grades, or have started pilot programs, include Carpentersville-based District 300, Huntley District 158, Woodstock District 200, Crystal Lake District 47, Marengo High School District 154, Cary-based District 26, Prairie Grove District 46 and Fox River Grove District 3.
District 155 consists of Crystal Lake Central, Crystal Lake South, Prairie Ridge and Cary-Grove high schools.