Students in one Alabama county to get laptops

Authorities say two young children died Saturday afternoon after they climbed into a vehicle outside their home and got locked inside for more than an hour.

PRATTVILLE, Ala. — Technology is coming to every student in one Alabama county as the new school year looms.

Autauga County’s board of education approved the purchase of 5,000 Chromebooks for students during a recent meeting. That’s on top of the 4,200 laptops that had already been ordered.

The system has about 9,200 students enrolled. The purchase of the 5,000 devices costs about $1 million and will come from the state funds for reaction to the pandemic.

“Every student, traditional and virtual, will be issued a Chromebook,” said Superintendent Spence Agee. “Each student will get one, so there will be no sharing of devices among siblings.”

The idea is to make the transition to virtual learning for periods of time, or for the entire year, due to the pandemic, as seamless as possible, The Montgomery Advertiser reported. There are several e-learning days set in the system’s calendar, where all students will go virtual.

The system had previously purchased the 4,200 devices for students whose families may not have been financially able to buy new laptops. About 42% of the system’s enrollment is on the free or reduced lunch program, which gave the board an idea of how many devices may be needed.

School is set to begin Sept. 8, and the devices should be delivered to the system by then, officials say.

Families will sign up for the devices and will turn them in at the end of the school year.