Beginning in 2017, the District implemented the G Suite for Education (previously called the Google Suite) with the idea to promote collaboration among teachers, students and staff, to increase efficiency and, ultimately, to provide a foundation for a 21st-century curriculum that’s increasingly enhanced by technology. The District also invested in G Suite-compatible Chromebooks, which today, are shared across all grades and classrooms every day. With teachers utilizing more technology in the classroom to facilitate student learning and personalize instruction, and as students and teachers increasingly collaborate on projects and homework, the decision to move to a 1:1 Chromebook ratio for all Shaker Heights Schools students ensures the same access to learning tools for all.
Please review this page for answers to frequently asked questions regarding the 1:1 Chromebook initiative. You may jump to an answer by clicking on a question from the list below or scroll through all of the FAQs.
- What grade levels will be going 1:1?
- When will the 1:1 be implemented?
- What devices are be issued to students?
- Are all 1:1 grade levels able to take their Chromebook home?
- Will Chromebooks go home with students over the summer?
- Are cases being issued in addition to the Chromebook?
- Can my student/I refuse the District-provided Chromebook?
- Will there be a flat technology fee assessed to all students in Grades 5-12?
- What fees are charged for repair or replacement of a student Chromebook and accessories?
- Is there a way to lower the risk of having to pay repair and/or replacement fees?
- How do I purchase the Chromebook One2One Protection Plan?
- What if I do not Purchase the One2One Protection Plan and my Chromebook needs a repair?
- Is anything NOT covered by the One2One Protection Plan?
- How often do I purchase the One2One Protection Plan?
- My Chromebook is broken, how do I get it fixed?
- What if a student Chromebook is stolen?
- Will Chromebooks have internet filtering when used off campus?
- What if I forget my Chromebook?
- Will my elementary school student get her own Chromebook?
- When will the District issue Chromebook guidelines?
- Can my student refuse the District-provided Chromebook?
- What if students do not have access to the Internet at home?
- Will kids in the design program and advanced photography, as well as Shakerite photographers and staff, be able to load all of their editing software onto the district chromebooks, free of charge?
- Also, would you consider including parents & students in the planning group?
- Will this change have all teachers moving to G-Suite, or will there still be the need for kids to use Moodle, TurnItIn and other programs, depending on the teacher?
- If parents want to limit screen time at home, will we be able to add extensions to do so, as we can on personal Chromebooks?
- If we are Shaker residents but our student attends a non-Shaker school (e.g. an independent school), will she/he receive a Chromebook?
- Will students use the same Chromebook over several academic years? When/if will the Chromebook be replaced with newer technology?
- Will I be allowed to continue to use my personal laptop during school or will I be required to use a District device?
- Will the Chromebook filters block students from playing games on their computers?
- Will the 1:1 Chromebook initiative negate the need for student cellphones in class?
- Will the student's name be easily seen on his/her computer or on the case?
- Just reading the email regarding the Chromebooks, and from the email it does not appear any parents were consulted regarding the implementation of the Chromebook policy. Why is that?
- Is this technology necessary when ‘tried and true’ teaching methods are sufficient for student success?
- The FAQ mentions that a student cannot refuse a District-provided Chromebook. Isn’t this forcing the initiative onto families?
- Has the District consulted with other districts where one-to-one roll outs have not been successful?
- Will charging a Chromebook on a nightly basis raise my electric bill?
- What if a family has limited or no Internet access at home?
- Will students be tracked when using their District Chromebooks?
- Will the use of technology result in a reduction of staff?
- Will the addition of 1:1 Chromebooks begin to move teachers away from using paper for everything, or will teachers continue to use paper for most things? I'm really hoping to start to see teachers move away from paper for assignments for both bulk and heft of carrying assignments through the halls, and for environmental reasons.
What grade levels will be going 1:1?
When will the 1:1 be implemented?
What devices are be issued to students?
HP Chromebook 11 G6 Education Edition
Are all 1:1 grade levels able to take their Chromebook home?
Grades 5-12 will be able to take their devices home each day for academic use.
Will Chromebooks go home with students over the summer?
Are cases being issued in addition to the Chromebook?
Yes. In order to reduce risk of damage a protective, an “always on” carrying case will be provided with each student Chromebook. Students are expected to keep their Chromebooks in the protective case at all times.
Can my student/I refuse the District-provided Chromebook?
No. High Schools students who bring personal devices to school may continue to do so; however, District-provided Chromebooks must be brought to school, fully charged, every day. District-provided Chromebooks:
- Will have the highest priority in terms of support and network access
- Are the devices teachers expect and plan for when preparing lessons and assignments
- Must be used for all online assessments—no exceptions
Will there be a flat technology fee assessed to all students in Grades 5-12?
No. Students will be provided a Chromebook, charging cable, and protective carrying case at the onset of the school year. Unless the Chromebook, charging cable, or protective case is damaged or lost, no required Chromebook-related fees will be assessed.
What fees are charged for repair or replacement of a student Chromebook and accessories?
Students are responsible for taking care of their District-issued Chromebook. In the event the Chromebook, AC adapter (charging cable), or protective carrying case is damaged or lost, fees will be assessed at the time a repair claim is created, using the fee schedule below. All fees will be available for payment online via PayForIt.
Broken glass screenCharger port failureTheftBroken LED/LCD displaysAccidental damagePower surge, fire and floodWater damageLossVandalismTouchscreen failureElectrical failures
2019-2020 Chromebook Repair/Replace Fee Schedule
|Damaged Item||Repair/Replace Cost |
|Chromebook Replacement (lost)||$274 (Chromebook + carrying case, per incident)|
|Chromebook Repair||$30 (if not covered by One2One Protection Plan)|
|AC Adapter/Charging Cable||$30|
|Carrying Case||$30|Is there a way to lower the risk of having to pay repair and/or replacement fees?
Yes. The District is providing an optional One2One Protection Plan. For $25 per Chromebook per year, a student’s Chromebook is covered for the following issues:
Although not required, the District strongly encourages families to purchase the protection plan for each student Chromebook each school year. The $25 Chromebook One2One Protection Plan is less expensive than a Chromebook repair for an unprotected device. Further, in the event a Chromebook is lost, the cost without a protection plan in place is $274. Instead, with a protection plan in place, lost Chromebooks are fully covered by paying for the $25 Chromebook One2One Protection Plan.
The protection plan can be purchased at any time during the school year and only covers completed repair claims made AFTER payment has been received. As a result, families are highly encouraged to purchase the One2One Protection Plan as soon as it is available in their PayForIt account.
How do I purchase the Chromebook One2One Protection Plan?
Beginning in August, for each family with student(s) in grades 5-12, an optional $25 fee named “One2One Protection Plan” will be loaded into PayForIt accounts. There will be one optional protection plan fee listed for each student who has been issued a Chromebook. Upon payment, the device issued to the student for whom payment was made will be covered for one academic school year. The $25 fee will not be prorated if paid after the start of the school year.
What if I do not Purchase the Chromebook One2One Protection Plan and my Chromebook needs a repair?
Whether or not a Chromebook is covered by a Chromebook One2One Protection Plan, upon needing repair, the student should follow their buildings repair process. If, at the time a Chromebook repair ticket is submitted and the Chromebook is WITHOUT a Chromebook ProTECH Plan, a $30 repair fee will be assessed and available for payment online via PayForIt.
The Chromebook One2One Protection Plan may be purchased anytime during the school year and will cover repairs made from the date of payment forward (i.e., coverage is not retroactive and does not cover repairs made/assessed prior to payment of the Chromebook ProTECH Plan).
Although not required, it is financially advantageous for parents/guardians to purchase the protection plan. At a minimum, just one repair of an unprotected Chromebook exceeds the protection plan cost.
Is anything NOT covered by the Chromebook One2One Protection Plan?
Yes. Neither AC adapters (charging cables) nor protective carrying cases are covered by the plan. If either of these accessories are damaged, lost, or stolen, the student will be charged according to the fee schedule regardless of whether or not a Chromebook One2One Protection Plan was purchased. These fees will be made available for payment online via PayForIt.
How often do I purchase the Chromebook One2One Protection Plan?
The Chromebook One2One Protection Plan is an annual program that must be renewed each school year. Also, the plan is applied per Chromebook not per family. For example, in order to be fully covered, a family with two students in grades 5-12 would need to purchase two Chromebook One2One Protection Plan—one for each Chromebook.
My Chromebook is broken, how do I get it fixed?
Woodbury, Middle School, and High School staff are currently working on their respective Chromebook repair processes. Generally speaking, there will be a means for students to log a repair ticket and receive a loaner Chromebook while their device is being repaired. As plan specifics are completed, they will be posted here as well as via other communication channels.
What if a student Chromebook is stolen?
If a Chromebook is stolen, the family should notify building administration and school security personnel. A police report will be required to formally document the theft and receive a replacement Chromebook. School security personnel can assist with this process.
Will Chromebooks have internet filtering when used off campus?
Yes. All 1:1 Chromebooks will be subject to the same filtering rules both off and on campus. Although no web content filtering system is ever 100% effective, the software used by the District provides protection against inappropriate web content that meets federal Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requirements.
What if I forget my Chromebook?
Each building is developing a policy about how loaners will be handled. Once those policies have been developed, we will share those details.
Will my elementary school student get her own Chromebook?
No. In all elementary buildings, each K-3 classroom is equipped with 12 Chromebooks, which are stored, secured and charged in the classroom. In addition, Grades K-3 also have one additional cart of 15 Chromebooks per grade, to provide the flexibility of creating a 1:1 learning environment on an as-needed basis. Grade 4 classrooms have enough Chromebooks to achieve a 1:1 ratio. These devices are assigned to the classroom, not to individual students. Non-grade-level classrooms, including special education classrooms, have carts of 15 Chromebooks to ensure that all students and teachers can access this technology. All Chromebooks for use by students in Grades K-4 will remain at school.
When will the District issue Chromebook guidelines?
The District’s 1:1 planning team is finalizing Chromebook guidelines which will provide information on the 1:1 program. These Chromebook guidelines will be added to our current Student Handbook.
Can my student refuse the District-provided Chromebook?
No. In order to keep our support model as efficient and effective as possible, we need to maintain strict standards on the devices our students use. As such, students will only be able to use District-supplied devices. In addition, having all students with access to the same type of device creates a consistent teaching and learning experience in the classroom.
What if students do not have access to the Internet at home?
There are a number of locations in the area that offer free Internet access. One such location is your public library, and we plan to partner with other establishments throughout the community to create “student-friendly” spaces, wherein WiFi will be available at no cost. Even without Internet access, Chromebooks still have the ability to use the traditional Google tools offline, such as writing in Google Docs and preparing presentations in Google Slides. Chromebooks also have an feature that enables students to download work ahead of time so they can work offline.
Additional Questions Submitted by Families, Students or Staff
Will kids in the design program and advanced photography, as well as Shakerite photographers and staff, be able to load all of their editing software onto the district chromebooks, free of charge?
Students will not be able to load editing software onto the District-provided Chromebooks. Inherently, Chromebooks are designed to work with software that is cloud-based and that does not require a client installation. For students enrolled in classes that require editing software, the High School will maintain computer labs with the appropriate software. In addition, if a student chooses to use a personal device, they are free to do so and are required to bring their district-provided Chromebook with them each day.
In terms of software licensing, the issuance of Chromebooks by the District does not result in any ‘free of charge’ licensing for editing software.
Also, would you consider including parents & students in the planning group?
A planning group of administrators, faculty, and staff representing the High School, Middle School, and Woodbury has met regularly throughout the 2018-2019 school year to develop policies and plans for the 1:1 initiative. Members of this group included building administrators, teachers, librarians, and support staff. As plans unfolded, several checkpoint conversations were had with stakeholders including the Shaker PTO Council and a high school student technology group. In addition, the District is in conversation with other City of Shaker Heights entities who would benefit from being aware of the 1:1 initiative.
For example, the Shaker Heights Public Library has and will continue to be provided with 1:1 information so they are able to identify a District Chromebook that might be left behind by a student or assist with basic troubleshooting of a Shaker Heights Schools device.
A second example of the District’s efforts to include a wide range of stakeholders is the inclusion of the the Shaker Heights Police Department (SHPD). The District’s safety and security leadership is having conversations with SHPD in order to define a process for reporting a stolen Chromebook. In addition, keeping SHPD aware of the 1:1 initiative will help enhance the overall safety and security of our students.
Will this change have all teachers moving to G-Suite, or will there still be the need for kids to use Moodle, TurnItIn and other programs, depending on the teacher?
The District adopted G-Suite as its primary productivity and communications suite. This makes all of the products under the G-Suite for Education umbrella available for teachers to use. For the past two years, the District has worked to provide extensive Google training opportunities for teachers with the goal of having a 100% Google Level One certified faculty. The ultimate goal is to have this teacher professional learning focus help streamline the various tools that students and teachers use for instruction and communication. That said, teacher choice, comfort level, and preference all play a role in what learning management system or other software is utilized per class. In addition, software such as TurnItIn is a requirement for the IB Diploma Programme.
If parents want to limit screen time at home, will we be able to add extensions to do so, as we can on personal Chromebooks?
As District-managed devices, additional extensions cannot be loaded onto student Chromebooks. Screen time is indeed an important topic and one that does not have a one-size-fits-all solution. On a related note, in terms of online safety, the District Chromebooks will have Internet content filtering in place on and off campus. In addition, the District’s Internet filter also provides an optional weekly report for parents that summarizes their student’s Internet activity. Parents may request to have this report sent to them (more information will be provided in the coming weeks). Finally, screen time on a District Chromebook may also be managed in a more deliberate/physical way rather than relying on software. Chromebooks will need to be charged each night and, to accomplish this, a routine will need to be developed by students. By establishing a defined charging time and location at home, students will not only ensure a fully charged device but also limit their overall time on the device.
If we are Shaker residents but our student attends a non-Shaker school (e.g. an independent school), will she/he receive a Chromebook?
No. Only students attending Shaker Schools (Woodbury, Middle School, High School) will be issued a District Chromebook.
Will students use the same Chromebook over several academic years? When/if will the Chromebook be replaced with newer technology?
Yes. District Chromebooks will be on a four-year replacement cycle and new devices will be issued to students in Grade 5 and Grade 9. The table below summarizes device life cycle through the 2023-2024 school year. As the table depicts, in school year 2022-2023 the student device assignment will be fully established on a four-year rotation. Until that time, devices that are collected before the scheduled four year end-of-life date will be assessed for damage, repaired, and re-deployed to buildings or used as spare devices. Also, in 2019-2020, students in Grades 7 and 8 will be issued used District devices. They will then receive new devices in Grade 9.
Will I be allowed to continue to use my personal laptop during school or will I be required to use a district device?
Please see prior FAQ, “Can my student/I refuse the District-provided Chromebook?”
Will the Chromebook filters block students from playing games on their computers?
The same internet content filter that is in place on district devices used on district premise will be in place on student Chromebooks—on and off campus.
Will the 1:1 Chromebook initiative negate the need for student cellphones in class?
One goal of the one-to-one initiative is to level the playing field and provide a consistent technology experience in the classroom. As a result, the one-to-one Chromebook initiative may reduce the need for students to use cellphones in class. That said, this is more of a classroom management and building policy/expectations question than a technical one.
Will the student's name be easily seen on his/her computer or on the case?
The student’s name will be printed on a sticker that will be placed on the bottom of the Chromebook. This sticker will not be visible unless the Chromebook is removed from the carrying case. Also, the Chromebook will have a District inventory tag that is visible via a window located on the bottom of the Chromebook carrying case. At any time, this tag may be scanned IT staff or library staff to determine to which student it belongs.
Just reading the email regarding the Chromebooks, and from the email it does not appear any parents were consulted regarding the implementation of the Chromebook policy. Why is that?
Representation from each of the three buildings—Woodbury, Middle School, High School—were part of a one-to-one planning committee. The members brought to the group expertise in technology, teaching and learning, library media services, and administration. In addition, several of the group members are also Shaker parents and were able to provide this additional perspective. In addition, as the plan moved through the development process, it was presented to the District’s PTO Council. This provided an opportunity for additional parent input and suggestions.
Is this technology necessary when ‘tried and true’ teaching methods are sufficient for student success?
The District agrees. There is no replacement for sound teacher pedagogy. No matter what tool is introduced into the classroom, nothing can or should replace the expertise and guidance of the teacher. In addition, teacher pedagogy is an evolving process that can and should leverage available technology to enhance the learning experience. This is not to say that district strives toward a completely immersive and virtual classroom for our students. Instead, the aim is to provide teachers with sound professional learning so they are able to determine ways to integrate technology to support and expand their already sound teaching practices. Educational technology, in any form, is a tool that can help build and create engaging lessons and allow students to learn and show what they know in unique ways. Much like a hammer alone builds nothing until it is picked up and used by a skilled craftsman, classroom technology benefits no one until it is in the hands of skilled Shaker teachers.
The FAQ mentions that a student cannot refuse a District-provided Chromebook. Isn’t this forcing the initiative onto families?
What may seem as ‘forcing’ is, instead, a need to create an equal playing field in the classroom. When teachers utilize technology in their daily instruction, it is imperative that each student not only has access but also the same tech access and experience. It is very difficult to plan a lesson when there is a heterogeneous mix of devices (or none at all) used by students. A mix of MacBooks, cell phones, Windows laptops, and no devices creates a classroom technology scenario that can be difficult to manage, troubleshoot, and to prepare.
Students will be expected to bring their fully charged district-provided Chromebook with them every day much like other school supplies and textbooks.
Has the District consulted with other districts where one-to-one roll outs have not been successful?
The planning committee is cognizant of the other district’s locally and nationally that have had less than desirable one-to-one results. In addition, the committee also drew from positive one-to-one experiences in order to help shape the district’s plan. In the end, the district realizes that no plan, especially of the scope necessary to encompass a one-to-one roll out, is ever perfect in its first version. There will be bumps along the way and the planning committee will continue to meet throughout next school year to review feedback and refine the guidelines and procedures accordingly.
Will charging a Chromebook on a nightly basis raise my electric bill?
The Chromebook model the district has selected draws very little power while in use and when charging. Although providing an exact dollar amount is not possible, this PDF provided by FirstEnergy/Toledo Edison
provides a list of average costs to operate many standard household appliances. There is a section of the document titled ‘Home Electronics’ where ‘laptop’ is listed. On average, a laptop costs approximately $0.19 to operate. There are several variables that can impact this cost including the type of ‘laptop’ being charged. In the case of district-issued Chromebooks, which have low power requirements, it is likely that the average cost will be even lower than $0.19 per month.
Regardless of the low cost to operate a district-issued Chromebook, the planning committee did consider situations where a family does not want the Chromebook to be brought home. As a result, there will be a limited number of designated overnight storage/charging locations at each building. Families may request overnight storage by contacting building administration.
What if a family has limited or no internet access at home?
There are available options for students without internet access at home. The City of Shaker Heights is fortunate to have two branches of the Shaker Heights Public Library (SHPL). SHPL not only provides internet connectivity but also a wealth of other resources and supports for students and adults.
Chromebooks can work in offline mode. In offline mode a student would not have access to the Internet and could still work on files stored in their Shaker Google Drive. Once an internet connection is reestablished, the Chromebook will sync data on the device to Google Drive.
In preparation for the one-to-one initiative, Shaker High School piloted an internet hotspot check out program during the 2018-19 school year. This program will continue into the future and allows students to check out a mobile internet hotspot free of charge from their school library. The Kajeet devices are not only for school use but intended and expected to be taken with students to support their academic work both in and out of school.
UPDATED AUGUST 29, 2019:
In addition to publicly available Wi-Fi access, the District also has and continues to offer portable hotspots for check out by students. These devices are currently available at the High School library and availability will be expanded to the Middle School and Woodbury as need is assessed throughout the 2019-2020 school year. Will students be tracked when using their District Chromebook?
As with any district-owned technology device, student Chromebooks will be subject to internet content filtering (on and off campus), remote device administration of device software, as well as the ability to geo-locate the device if necessary. The district does not actively ‘watch’ students but, instead, utilizes these tools to prevent access to inappropriate online content, assist in recovery of a lost or stolen device, ensure devices are running the latest software versions, and to assist with troubleshooting. All activity on any district device is recorded and searchable if needed by district administration. Will the introduction of this technology result in a reduction in teaching staff?
A computer alone should not ever be considered a replacement for quality teaching. In fact, the only way technology is useful is when it is integrated into an already strong pedagogy. Chromebooks or any instructional technology should not be viewed as a replacement for faculty but, instead, as a way to engage students in the learning process in new and exciting ways.
The infusion of technology-based tools into teaching and learning is not a new phenomenon. The chalkboard and the pencil were both considered ‘revolutionary’ at some point. In fact, the progression toward using new and varied instructional tools is not new to Shaker. Two articles in the the 1969 edition of the Shaker High School Gristmill yearbook detail how teachers were utilizing new technologies of the day. Neither article advocates for technology to replace instructional staff but, instead, they outline how these tools can help re-energize the learning experience and captivate students in new ways. The article titled, New Teaching Techniques Emphasize Involvement, says it best, “the low-involvement lecture has become less effective on students oriented to the high-involvement world of television.” Fast forward 50 years and Shaker educators continue to explore ways to increase instructional effectiveness. Both Gristmill articles are available for download below (.pdf).
1969 Gristmill Articles:Audio Visual Aids Supplement LecturesNew Teaching Techniques Emphasize InvolvementWill the addition of 1:1 Chromebooks begin to move teachers away from using paper for everything, or will teachers continue to use paper for most things? I'm really hoping to start to see teachers move away from paper for assignments for both bulk and heft of carrying assignments through the halls, and for environmental reasons.
One of the goals for 1:1 at Shaker is move away from traditional paper-based assignments toward assignments that will leverage the available technology. That said, simply digitizing existing assignments does not represent goal attainment. Shaker Schools aims to move and grow through the stages of the SAMR model which begins with substitution and ultimately leads to redefinition of the teaching and learning process. This is a process that will take time. To this end, the continuation of teacher professional development opportunities will be paramount in order to fully leverage the 1:1 Chromebook investment. Shaker is extremely fortunate to have faculty, staff, and administrators who recognize and who are excited to venture into this instructional technology endeavor.