FAIRFIELD, Ohio — Starting in 2020, every student at Fairfield City Schools will receive a personal laptop for the school year, the district announced Tuesday. By 2024, they’ll be able to keep the device even after graduation.
In a news release, district spokeswoman Gina Gentry-Fletcher said officials believed giving students laptops would expand opportunities to collaborate, improve communication, engage them creatively and encourage them to think critically.
“It will just take the learning that’s taking place to a whole new level,” Fairfield High Spanish teacher Ricardo Calles said.
His students — high schoolers — will be the first to receive the laptops in 2020. The program rollout will continue with a lower grade level each year: Junior high school students in 2021, grades 3-5 in 2022 and kindergarteners-second graders in 2023.
“I’m kind of disappointed that it’s coming next year and I’m graduating,” senior Jaycie Johnson said. “But it will definitely help the generations after me.”
Each age tier will have different rules for access to the computers. High schoolers can take them home, but third-graders will have to leave them in the classroom at the end of each day.
Assistant principal Jen Mott said the laptops aren’t meant to replace textbooks or pens and paper. Instead, she hopes they will supplement and expand the existing curriculum.
“I think it’s going to be a game changer in ways that we don’t even know yet,” she said.
The program will cost the district $1.2 million annually by 2023. Students’ families will pay a $40 technology fee each year to offset the cost.