San Lorenzo Express News

All San Lorenzo Students to Get Free Laptop Computers

MARCH 15, 2001

A computer manufacturer is donating more than 1,500 wireless laptop computers to San Lorenzo students in the first phase of the district's "eLearning Project", a program to integrate computers more closely with classroom teaching.

The $20 million eLearning Project will be funded largely from Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, a fund used for updating technology and for teacher training and curriculum development. To qualify for this money a school district must have 35 percent of its students on the free or reduced lunch program. A qualifying district must also get at least 10 percent of the total cost from private sources. The San Lorenzo District secured 25 percent of the cost of the eLearning Project, or $5 million, in the form of hardware and service donations from Dell Corporation.

The first phase of the project will begin this summer with training of about 30 teachers from eight schools -- Hillside, Hesperian, Colonial Acres, Lorenzo Manor, and Corvallis elementary schools; Edendale Middle School; and San Lorenzo and Royal Sunset high schools.

This fall more than 1,500 students are expected to receive wireless laptop computers donated by Dell. The computers allow students to access the Internet in most areas of the schools. The district hopes to eventually have 8,000 computers for all 4th through 12th grade students, possibly through funds donated by other private companies.

The district will own the computers and will loan them to students as long as they remain students in the district. Students will be able to take the computers home, and any computer damaged or stolen will be replaced by Dell.

District officials hope the availability of the computers will promote student initiative in learning, and build greater communication between home and school, between teachers and parents.

Source: Daily Review