• Digitally Nurturing Academics

    DNA 1:1 Laptop Program

    Frequently Asked Questions

     

    To prepare tomorrow's leaders today, the Socorro Independent School District has implemented the Digitally Nurturing Academics (DNA) 1:1 Laptop Program which provides a laptop to incoming 9th grade students at all Socorro ISD's high schools.

    Below are some of the most commonly asked questions we have received from parents.

     

    Q: How much do the parents have to pay for the laptop?

    A: There will be a yearly $25 maintenance and usage fee.

     

    Q: How will the usage fee be applied?

    A: The yearly usage fee collected from each student is to be used by the campus to support the laptop initiative. The funds will be used to purchase repair parts, as needed by district technicians when performing repairs. Should the need arise, additional laptops for student use may be ordered from this account as well.

     

    Q: Is getting the laptop mandatory?

    A: The laptop is as essential as a textbook and is regarded in the same context. The laptop is being provided to all 9th grade students in our efforts to create a digital learning environment and teachers will be expecting students to use their laptops for assignments, research, and other learning activities.

     

    Q: What if the laptop is stolen?

    A: When any laptop is stolen or lost outside of district property, the student must contact the El Paso Police Department to file a report. If the incident occurs on district property, the report must be filed with the SISD Security/Police Department. Once the incident/police report is provided to school administration, a fee of $100 will be required before another laptop is issued to the student.

     

    Q: What kind of security will be in place?

    A: Campus personnel will work with students to provide secure locations for temporary storage of laptops, when available. Students will be primarily responsible for keeping their laptop secure and in their possession throughout the day.

     

    Q: Is there a safe place for the students to put their laptop if they participate in after school programs?

    A: Student involved in athletics and fine arts will be assigned lockers or other similar safe location that they can use to keep their personal belongings and store their laptop when needed.

     

    Q: Are you blocking certain sites? How easy is it to bypass the school’s filter?

    A: As with any filtering system, there is never a 100% guarantee that it cannot be bypassed or inappropriate content cannot be accessed. However, the district continuously updates its software and diligently investigates any possible security breaches to keep the network environment safe for all users. Students must adhere to the SISD Student Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) at all times. Parents should take appropriate steps to create a safe environment for laptop use away from school.

     

    Q: What about Internet safety?

    A: While the district implements the use of a content filter, we believe in providing instruction for your child on digital citizenship.  The acceptable use policy will be shared, enforced, and clearly conveyed to students and parents. The most important recommendation we can make to parents is to be involved and vigilant in your child’s online activities.

     

    Q: Do they get a new laptop every year or do they get the same one?

    A: Students will not receive a new laptop every year. When the laptop is turned in at the end of the year, it will be labeled and returned back to the student the following year.

     

    Q: What happens if the student does not return the bag/case with the laptop?

    A: Students are responsible for returning the laptop and all accessories, including power adapter and carrying case. The campus administration will have the discretion to charge for replacement of any accessory that is not returned in a usable state.

     

    Q: Is there an administrator password? Will you be providing that to parents?

    A: The administrator account on the laptops is only for the use of district personnel authorized to maintain, repair, or conduct investigations on the computer.

     

    Q: Will students use e-mail to turn in assignments?

    A: Students will use various methods for submitting assignments, contributing to online discussions, and sharing documents with peers and teachers. They will be instructed on the proper use of district-approved methods and resources by teachers, administrators, and district support personnel.

     

    Q: Will there be additional laptops available in the class for students?

    A: No. Students will be responsible for taking their assigned laptop to school, fully charged.

     

    Q: Do they get wireless internet (WiFi) access?

    A: All Socorro ISD facilities provide wireless internet access that students can connect to by using their district username and password. School libraries have a limited supply of internet hotspots for checkout by students. Students are also encouraged to access free internet services provided by several community businesses, community centers, and public areas. We have created a map of local businesses who offer free WiFi here.

     

    Q: Will the students be allowed to plug in at school if the battery is low?

    A: It is recommended that students come in with the laptop fully charged but if for some reason they forget to charge it, teachers will have extra chargers in their classrooms to allow students to charge their laptop.

     

    Q: Who provides technology support to students on campus?

    A: The campus classroom teachers and librarian will be provided with basic troubleshooting steps to guide students. Each high school has a computer maintenance teacher and designated students to serve as the first level of technical support for student laptops. If they are unable to resolve problems with the laptop, they will then refer the issue to district-level technicians.

     

    Q: How are the students supposed to do homework when they occasionally do not have internet access?

    A: The school is accessible for extended hours before and after the regular instructional day, during which students can connect to the district network. School libraries have a limited supply of internet hotspots for checkout by students. Students are also encouraged to access free internet services provided by several community businesses, community centers, and public areas. We have created a map of local businesses who offer free WiFi here.

     

    Q: If I withdraw my child, what must I do?

    A: Students must return the laptop and all accessories to the school upon withdrawing from the school.

     

    Q: Will the laptop be used every day?

    A: Teachers lessons will vary. On any given day, some teachers may have lessons that require their use, while others may not. The laptop is to be brought to school every day.

     

    Q: What if the computer crashes? Are students able to save information on a separate personal hard drive to avoid losing information?

    A: Students will be taught how to save their information on their personal (H:) drive and OneDrive (cloud) accounts. As a second option, they will be able to connect an external hard drive or flash drive to save their information.

     

    Q: Will the district offer a parent training session?

    A: Both district and campus staff will offer training sessions for parents. These sessions will be communicated through the campus staff or parent liaison.

     

    Q: Can parents have access to student Outlook accounts?

    A: Students are authorized to share their username/password with their parents or legal guardians for the purpose of monitoring.

     

    Q: Will the laptops be locked down so students can't download software?

    A: Students will not be able to install most software. One exception would be the apps that are accessible through the Microsoft Store. Parents are highly encouraged to set up the Microsoft account with their child in order to have access to monitor this account.

     

    Q: Is there a list of most common sites students try to access at school that are blocked?

    A: While the district implements the use of a content filter, we believe in providing instruction for your child on digital citizenship.  The acceptable use policy will be shared, enforced, and clearly conveyed to students and parents.  

    The most important recommendation we can make to parents is to be involved and vigilant in your child’s online activities.