BCPS to give students devices to take home

BCPS to give students devices to take home
Posted on 05/12/2020
Grateful for Chromebook donation from Lenovo

Morganton, NC – Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Burke County Public Schools received a gift of 1,400 Chromebooks from Lenovo. The donation will help the district provide a technology device for every student to use at school and at home for the upcoming school year. Kindergarten through second graders will receive iPads, fifth graders will receive Macbooks and third and fourth graders and sixth through 12th graders will receive Chromebooks. The district will deploy the devices by Aug. 1.

In updating the Burke County Board of Education, Dr. Melanie Honeycutt, chief information officer, said the device rollout will include an orientation for students and parents and a how-to video on setting up the device at home.

For families with no internet service at home, students will be able to download work where WiFi is available, complete their work offline, and then return to a WiFi zone to upload and submit work. To assist with WiFi, the district has access to 86 hotspots available for checkout. The district also received seven AT&T WiFi Rangers that will be installed on school buses and parked in various locations around the county. Wireless access is also available in the parking lot of school campuses as well as the parking lots of public libraries and other public locations.

Honeycutt said the district has fully recovered from the ransomware attack in early March. “Our network is stable and secure,” Honeycutt said. “We have measures in place to prevent this from happening again, including a multifaceted network with virtual local area networks and cloud based support programs. We have tightened our content filter authentication so that we can log suspicious and malicious internet traffic to specific users in our network.”

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam said, “Our technology department has worked tirelessly to help us recover from the ransomware attack, which happened to hit us two days before Gov. Cooper declared we were in a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to say we have recovered completely from the attack. We are also very excited to now be a one-to-one district and
that every student will not only have a device to use at school, but also to take home with them. A big thank you to Lenovo for their donation of 1,400 Chromebooks to help us reach this technological milestone.”

Libby Richards with Lenovo said, “As a global company with a large local presence, Lenovo is committed to doing all that we can to help those in need around the globe and here in North Carolina, home to our North American headquarters. We are leveraging our strengths as a technology company to give back to schools, hospitals and community partners around the world. To date, we’ve given $12.17 million globally, $1.55 million of which has been donated in North Carolina. This includes more than $1 million to local North Carolina schools, providing laptops for students where needed and assisting school districts as they have transitioned to distance learning.”
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