Pre-pandemic, Homewood-Flossmoor High School had racks of Chromebooks in each classroom for student use. The devices served as individual computers and were distributed by teachers. The system was an easy way to assure that all students were working from the same equipment for class assignments.
When schools got notice in March 2020 of an immediate shutdown, H-F collected all its Chromebooks and distributed them to students so they could be connected to classes and teachers by computer. That’s approximately 2,900 devices.
Administrators are trying to plan for next school year with a return to a traditional routine, but for right now the Technology Department at H-F is expecting the Chromebooks will again be distributed to each student, said Gary Posing, department director.
In March, the District 233 school board approved the purchase of 750 new Chromebooks for $232,987 and 750 Google management system licenses for $18,750. Posing said the machines are in high demand. By approving the purchase in March, H-F was guaranteed that the devices would be available by June.
Posing said the timing also meant a savings of approximately $7,000 in licensing fees before Google raises the cost this summer.
The plan is for the new devices to be assigned to the incoming freshman class. If H-F sets a policy of machines remaining with students, the Class of 2025 will have the same Chromebooks throughout their four years at H-F, Posing said.