Laptops for RCMS students under consideration for next year

Richard Zhang, Writer

Next year, all eighth-graders at RCMS might receive a computer as part of FCPSOn, a program that will ultimately provide all FCPS students with computers by 2023.

“I think one-on-one would help a lot of people,” Eric Zeng, an eighth-grader from the X-Treme team said. “I won’t have to use the family computer.”

This school year (2019-2020), all FCPS high schoolers received computers. Next school year (2020-2021), middle schoolers may also receive computers.

The FCPS school board is still debating the topic. Although high schoolers have one-on-one computers, some board members don’t think the program is worth it financially.

“We are all sort of waiting to hear,” said Mrs. Carr, RCMS IT specialist.

FCPSOn’s five goals are to provide equitable access to student learning, reinforce digital citizenship, provide professional learning for educators, prepare students for tomorrow’s workforce, and develop portrait of a graduate skills. 

According to FCPSOn, this program is a “transformation of learning for students and educators.” It provides equitable access to student learning because it allows students greater access to technology. FCPSOn will reinforce digital citizenship by teaching students to use technology better. Digital citizenship is important because technology is a big part of everybody’s lives.

FCPSOn provides professional learning for educators by providing teachers with more advanced tools. According to FCPSOn, “Teachers are supported through ongoing, dynamic professional learning for teachers that will result in purposeful, collaborative student learning experiences.”

This program will prepare students for tomorrow’s workforce because it provides students with real-world technology skills that will be essential as adults. As we all know, today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce.

FCPSOn helps students develop portrait of a graduate attributes. These include collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.

Students who receive computers are required to bring them every day, charged and ready to go. If a computer is broken or stolen, you should inform the school staff and/or police. If computers or chargers are not returned at the end of the year, students must pay for the lost property–$467 for the computer and $28 for the charger.

Because these devices still belong to FCPS, FCPS set some guidelines so that they still have control over their computers. Students must only use computers for educational purposes. Students must not mistreat or mishandle their computers. Students must keep the computers to themselves and not other family members. Students must not leave computers unattended. Students must not keep computers near water that could damage it. Students should keep computers in a safe and secure location. Students should bring the computer every day with a full battery.

Many students still have to use their “family computer” to do their work. FCPSOn makes it so that these students can do what they are supposed to do without delay. 

Computers are very expensive. Because of this, an annual support fee of $50 will be charged to all FCPS high school students.

“I think it would be quite expensive, but in some cases, it would be worth it,” Eric said. “I would support FCPSOn because I have not had a computer for a while now.”