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Fontana Unified 1:1 Initiative to Tackle Digital Divide, Provide Every Student with a Laptop

A Jurupa Hills High School student receives a new Dell Latitude 3190 laptop as part of the FUSD 1:1 device initiative. To dat

FONTANA, CA – Fontana Unified School District is aiming to narrow the achievement gap with the launch of a 1:1 device initiative that will equip every student with a laptop to foster digital literacy.

The first phase of the initiative rollout – which provides more than 11,000 high school students with a Dell Latitude 3190 laptop, stylus, protective case and earbuds – began in January at Jurupa Hills High School, followed by Fontana, A.B. Miller and Summit high schools. Rollout at Henry J. Kaiser, Eric Birch and Citrus high schools will run from late February to mid-March.

“Our mission is to ensure every student has the tools and skills vital to success in the workforce,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “We have seen that the digital divide can exacerbate the achievement gap and socioeconomic divide. Fontana Unified is working to eliminate those barriers and equip every student for lifelong success.”

The initiative is slated to roll out over three years. Middle schools are expected to receive devices in 2020-21, followed by elementary schools in 2021-22. The District prepared for the launch by seeking community input, putting necessary infrastructure in place, and acquiring and troubleshooting devices.

Throughout the implementation process, FUSD educators have access to a variety of training opportunities, in addition to regular site and District trainings that support the use of online curriculum resources and technology tools.

Students receive their laptops after completing a laptop distribution agreement signed by a parent or guardian. They are allowed to keep the device full time for a three-year cycle, including weekends and summer. Each Dell Latitude 3190 laptop is secured through the District’s firewall and equipped with educational tools like Microsoft Office 365.

The devices – which convert from a laptop to a tablet and have touchscreen capabilities – can be used in class for annotations, accessing online resources, collaborating with classmates and more.

The District worked with a committee of high school administrators and teachers to brainstorm solutions to possible challenges, build a school culture of digital citizenship and design modules to assist students with laptop use, online resources and collaboration tools available in Office 365.

The 1:1 initiative is outlined in Fontana Unified’s Local Control and Accountability Plan, an element of the state’s school funding system that guides efforts to improve student achievement by setting annual priorities and strategies to achieve those goals.

“We are thankful to the Fontana Unified community for supporting this initiative and our staff for implementing it,” said Oscar Dueñas, FUSD chief information technology and innovation officer. “The community input has been instrumental in guiding our District vision for boosting student success.”