FCPS Technology Questions
1. Is FCPS providing students with technological devices for the 2020-2021 school year?
All FCPS students PreK-12 will be loaned a Chromebook for instructional purposes.
2. What are the terms for accepting the Chromebook loan?
By accepting the loan of this Chromebook, both the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student agree to accept full responsibility for this device and will promptly return it to FCPS at the end of the school year. Full responsibility shall include the cost of repair or replacement up to $250.00 for the damage, destruction, loss, or theft of this Chromebook and its power adapter. The parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student agree that it is the responsibility of both the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student to make sure that the student will solely use this device for school-related activities to support their instruction and will prevent accessing or creating non-school related online content that is violent, graphic, obscene or harmful to minors. The parent(s)/guardian(s) and or student are responsible for configuring the Chromebook to work with their home and/or community public wireless network and will notify the student’s school if the device is not working properly. Failure to follow these rules will result in the loss of this privilege.
3. If my student is participating in the Hybrid Learning Plan, how do they get the FCPS issued Chromebook?
Hybrid students will receive their Chromebook on their first day that the student is at school.
4. If my student is participating in the Virtual Learning Plan, how do they get the FCPS issued Chromebook?
There will be a Chromebook pickup for virtual students announced at a later date.
5. Will my child be required to take their Chromebook back and forth from home to school if they are participating in the Hybrid Learning Plan?
Yes. Students will be required to bring their Chromebook fully charged and ready to be used during the school day. Students will need to take their Chromebook home at the end of each school day in order to perform their remote coursework on days where they are not at school. Additionally, students need to have the Chromebook at home if the school division has to move into phase 1 which is when all students are participating in virtual/remote learning.
6. Is there a process to repair or replace the device?
For Chromebooks with technical difficulties, students and parents need to contact their teacher. If the Chromebook is having hardware issues, the teacher will coordinate replacing the device.
7. Will I be responsible as a parent for paying for loss or damage to the loaned device?
If the Chromebook is vandalized or lost, the parent/guardian will be responsible for the cost of the replacement device.
8. Is there an Accidental Protection Plan?
Not at this time, but we are exploring possible options.
9. Can my child use a personal technology device (smartphone, computer, etc.) to complete their work?
For hybrid learning, students will be expected to use their Chromebook at school. FCPS asks that students refrain from bringing personal devices to school in an effort to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Virtual students may select to use a personal computer they have at home if the computer system can support their virtual learning tools.
10. Will we need the internet at home to access instruction?
Virtual students are expected to provide their own internet access in order to take advantage of virtual learning. The school division understands that parts of Fluvanna County have limited access to reliable internet access. As a result, Hybrid students do not have to provide internet access to support their student’s learning.
11. What are the Internet Service options in my area?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provides a website for finding out which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are in your area. Click this link and enter your address into the search box. A list of ISPs will be provided to the right. Once you know your ISP options, you may reach out to each provider to find out how much bandwidth and terms they can provide. Many parts of rural Fluvanna do not have broadband options. In those cases, cellular hotspots which are also known as fixed wireless are the best option. Cellular carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T offer dedicated mobile hotspots but be aware that hotspots have data caps even when the data plans are unlimited such as with Verizon at 25Gb. They can also be unreliable, especially if you do not have a good cellular signal at the house. Some hotspots allow adding an external high gain antenna and there are also external cellular antenna options that you can mount to your home to improve the signal strength.
12. Are there public wireless and Internet options available for families?
The school division is working with area churches, fire stations, and other community businesses to provide localized public wireless options around Fluvanna County. Although this is not ideal, it does offer families the ability to have access to free public wireless closer to home. A list of those options will be available soon.
13. Will student Chromebooks work without internet service?
Chromebooks work best with reliable internet service. However, they can be used offline including:
When content is provided through a Thumb Drive/Flash Drive.
When a student’s Google Suite documents have been synced to the device while the student was at school and configured to be used offline.
14. How do I get help if I need technical support at my house during at home or virtual instruction?
When students experience technical difficulties at home with their virtual/remote instruction, they need to contact their classroom teacher. Alternatively, please contact the technology department at (434) 591-2060.
15. Will FCPS be providing a specific platform for video conferencing for virtual meetings?
Google Suite’s Google Meet will be used for video conferencing.
16. As a parent, I struggle with technology skills, is there a way for me to get assistance or training so that I can help my child?
The division will provide resources for parents on how to use Google Suite and other tools.
17. What instructional technology tools will FCPS be using with their hybrid and virtual students?
Students will be using FCPS issued Chromebooks. Instructional staff will be using the gamut of technology tools and resources available to them including Google Suite, Google Classroom, Google Meet, Seesaw, Nearpod, Virtual Virginia, Canvas, and other online and offline resources focused on supporting the students individualized learning.