Huntsville City Schools Collect Student Laptops

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- The school-issued laptop computer collection process for Huntsville City began May 16 for certain high school senior classes and be finish up no later than May 23, the last day of classes for the regular school session.

Students will be directed by grade level to the respective collection site to turn in their laptop device, power cord, battery and laptop bag. The student will also be asked to provide either an accidental damage plan form or a completed summer education device form. All students attending Huntsville City Schools summer school will need to keep their laptops.

"For those students who are enrolled in what we are calling a bona fide summer enrichment program, they will be allowed to keep their laptops for that program," explains Huntsville City School's Asset Management Coordinator Louis Harris. Many special education students will also be allowed to retain their laptops in order to preserve the specific software used for students in that department.

It is the student's responsibility to report all damaged or missing devices or equipment. Missing devices for which theft has been reported will be subject to COMPUTRACE activation and the computer will be pursued by law enforcement as stolen property. The fee schedule for missing or damaged devices not reported as stolen are as follows:

  • HP Laptop $500
  • Laptop Battery $110
  • Laptop Charger $25
  • Laptop Case $17

Cash or check will be accepted as fee payment methods.

Some computers are in need of repair or maintenance. Also, as Pearson curriculum programs will be updated to suit the needs of the district, all computers will need to be reimaged before the 2014 school year.

"We're actually doing two major things," says Harris. "The first is we're actually fixing everything that's physically broken: chipped cases, missing keys, cracked screens, so we're actually doing a repair. The second piece is we're doing a software update to make sure the de-frag is done but then also to make sure the most current curriculum is loaded on that device."

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The schools district's IT and Operations departments have collaborated with a third-party service provider (RTI) for a solution to accommodate these needs on such a large scale. One viewer emailed WHNT News 19 writing:

The Huntsville City School system is shipping all the student computers to another state to be re-imaged.  Why isn’t that being done in Huntsville so that our own economy would benefit?
WHNT News 19 took action to get that question answered.
"We'll be collecting over 17,000 devices," explains Louis Harris, "and there are some very specific requirements for us to have this done first of all in the right way but also in a timely manner because school will start when it starts and we have to get it all done. We actually went through a bid process where every company that felt like they'd like to put in a bid for this work for us had the opportunity to do so and the one who provided the best price and met all the requirements was Riverside Technologies Incorporated out of South Dakota."
As of Monday Harris says 171 high school seniors in the district had yet to return their laptops. He says it is imperative to do so because unreturned devices could affect the student's ability to walk on graduation day.

Click here to read Huntsville City Schools' laptop collection policy in full.

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