CALCASIEU PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Students at one-to-one ratio with electronic devices

Published 8:00 am Friday, July 30, 2021

The Calcasieu Parish School Board is now at a one-to-one ratio between students and electronic devices. Traditionally, families are required to pay a $20 device fee to access a CPSB device, but due to ongoing hardships the fee will be waived this school year.

“We don’t want to penalize a student if they can’t afford that $20 device fee. We want them to be able to continue their learning,” Holly Holland, spokeswoman for the district, said.

The district has been making moves towards the one-to-one device goal since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Holland said, but the timing is ideal for a proactive start to the 2021-2022 school year. “Students will be able to work at home if we have to go back to a phase per the governor; or if a student is quarantined, they’ll still be able to continue their work.”

Laptops and iPads will be distributed at each campus via a checkout process. Lower grade-level students will receive iPads and upper grades will receive laptops.

Likely, elementary and middle school students will leave their devices at the school for classroom-use only, Holland said, and high school students will be able to bring their devices home. “But they won’t get them in hand on the first day of school,” she said.

“They’ll have to go over digital citizenship with their teachers to get specific instructions.”

For students who do need to bring their device home in the event of a COVID-19 related incident, they will be able to download their work at the school and then leave campus. “It’s going to be work they can download and access offline this year,” Holland said.

All CPSB schools now have exterior wifi, as well, in the event that a student needs to park near the school for wifi access if they do not have the capability at home. In the event that there are mass closures like in 2020, CPSB will deploy its Smart Buses which are equipped with mobile wifi for longer-range connectivity, she added.

To learn more, students and parents are encourage to review CPSB’s “1:1 Device Program Student/Parent Handbook” by visiting https://www.cpsb.org/domain/2449 and clicking “Oneto-One Device Information.”