Wheeling District 21 to provide more computers for elementary students

  • Holmes Middle School art teacher Steve Hamann works with eighth-grader Jesus Delgado on a Chromebook provided by Wheeling Township Elementary District 21. All students in grades 6-8 have the computers, but now each student in grades 3-5 also will have a device.

      Holmes Middle School art teacher Steve Hamann works with eighth-grader Jesus Delgado on a Chromebook provided by Wheeling Township Elementary District 21. All students in grades 6-8 have the computers, but now each student in grades 3-5 also will have a device. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer, 2017

 
 
Updated 5/29/2018 8:41 PM

Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 is expanding its technology program so that by fall, every student in grades 3-8 will have a computer.

Currently, students in middle school -- grades 6-8 -- each have a Chromebook, while those in elementary school share devices.

 

But with the school board's $527,250 purchase of some 1,850 HP Chromebooks earlier this month, more elementary students will be able to have their own device for academic use.

In grades 3-5, there's currently two devices for every three students. That ratio will now expand to 1:1.

For grades K-2, there's one device for every two students. That ratio is going to 3:4.

And with eighth-graders graduating, their 3-year-old Chromebooks will be returned to the district's leasing provider, and new computers will be purchased for incoming sixth graders.

Related to the initiative, the district plans to upgrade network infrastructure at middle schools this summer, improving wireless access points, switches, network cabling and power protection components. Similar improvements were made last year at elementary schools.

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An action plan developed following the district's recent Design21 community engagement process listed the expansion of the 1:1 computer initiative for all elementary students as a goal.

Other recommendations in the report, including upgrading building security and installing air conditioning in all buildings, are part of a tax increase that district officials plan to ask voters to approve this fall.

District 21 has nine elementary schools, three middle schools and an early childhood school serving residents in portions of Wheeling, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights and Northbrook.

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