What to do with your child’s school-issued device

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Local school divisions are releasing plans for the return of issued devices (Photo by Katerina Holmes from Pexels)

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — As the 2020-2021 school year comes to a close, many parents are wondering what to do with their child’s school-issued device. Both Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (WJCC) and York County School Division (YCSD) are beginning to provide guidance for parents of the divisions’ students.

Eileen Cox, spokesperson for WJCC, said that schools will be collecting division-issued devices from students in early June. Students currently enrolled in the Virtual Academy (the entirely remote option offered to families during the pandemic) will receive information from the school in which they are enrolled in as to how to return their device.

“WJCC Schools was on a path to becoming a 1:1 technology school division before the pandemic; the health crisis simply accelerated that process,” said Cox. “Each year, students will be issued a laptop or tablet to support their learning in class.”

YCSD has not yet set a date as to when the collection of devices will occur. Katherine Goff, spokesperson for YCSD, said that the division will be communicating with families as soon as dates are finalized. She pointed out that YCSD students will continue to need their devices through the end of the school year.

Like WJCC, YCSD has been proactive in implementing a 1:1 device program as well as the Canvas Learning Management virtual environment for its students.

“The division has long been a leader in implementing BYOT [Bring Your Own Technology], so the 1:1 program is simply another layer of technology integration,” said Goff.

She encourages parents who may have questions to reach out directly to the school division by emailing: AskYCSD@ycsd.york.va.us.

While the benefits of technology integration in education have been proven throughout the pandemic, there is still an emphasis on making sure that students have access to a classroom teacher. Cox said, “Technology is a tool and resource. It is not a substitute for a high-quality teacher.”

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