PSS to procure 1K laptops for incoming 7th graders

Public School System federal programs officer Tim Thornburgh disclosed Friday that all incoming seventh graders in public and private schools will soon receive their own laptops

Thornburgh said the Board of Education decided to continue the implementation of PSS’ One-Laptop-Per Child Policy which was initially planned to last for only two school years.

The One-Laptop-Per-Child project aims to give laptops to students from seventh to 12th grade in both private and public schools.

It was initiated in 2010 and PSS used the portion of the one-time $34.2-million state fiscal stabilization fund from the American Recovery Reinvestment Act monies to procure the first batch of technologies for students.

Based on the PSS laptop policy, seniors will own the units after their graduation, while seventh and eighth graders will carry their units to high school.

Thornburgh said PSS will procure 1,000 brand new laptops using funds from the PSS’ regular consolidated grant. He declined to give the estimated cost for the new equipment, citing a bid process is ongoing for the laptop project.

Of the 1,000 laptops to be purchased this year, about 120 will go to seventh graders in private schools. These technologies are expected to be distributed during the opening of classes in September.

Thornburgh, in a visit to his office Friday, disclosed to Saipan Tribune that laptops provided to students were proven helpful in their learning activities. Evidence are the positive and upward trend in both standard-based assessment and Stanford assessment test-10 (SBA and SAT-10) across all grade levels.

Thornburgh said laptops provide students self-directive learning which is the deepest type of learning. More importantly, he said laptops help PSS to prepare students in their career paths after high school.

The federal programs officer said the U.S. Department of Education had expressed great support in the laptop project established by CNMI PSS.

By Moneth Deposa

Moneth G. Deposa | Reporter

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