Digital Device Initiative Heading to FCPS High Schools This Fall

by Catherine Douglas Moran January 14, 2019 at 4:45 pm 1 Comment

A new digital initiative is aiming to start in the county’s public high schools this fall for the 2019-2020 school year.

FCPSOn provides students with access to a device to use for learning, which each student can access at school and may be able to take home, based on the school and grade level. The initiative supports the FCPS Strategic Plan, which includes access to contemporary and effective technology as a component of the “Student Success” goal.

The Fairfax County School Board directed Superintendent Scott Brabrand to incorporate necessary funding for FCPSOn’s expansion to all high schools in his fiscal year 2020 proposed budget, South Lakes High School Principal Kim Retzer wrote in an email to the school’s community.

“It will help ensure they have equitable access to technology and to instructional practices that support their development of Portrait of a Graduate attributes including communication, collaboration and critical thinking,” Retzer wrote. “Employers will expect these skills, along with tech fluency and innovation, from tomorrow’s workforce. FCPSOn helps prepare students to meet those demands.”

The 2020 proposed budget sets aside $4.3 million to implement FCPSOn in high schools.

“The financial model for FCPSOn takes an approach of sustainable funding that includes shared cost between schools and central offices as well as student user fees. Funding and a new staffing formula will support an additional [18.5 positions],” according to the budget.

The budget includes a new technology fee of $50 per student per year for grades nine through 12 beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. Meanwhile, students eligible for reduced meals will pay a reduced fee of $25 per student and students eligible for free meals will no fees. Overall, the fee is expected to generate $2.2 million in revenue.

FCPSOn launched during the 2016-2017 school year to all of the schools in the Chantilly High School pyramid and five high schools that receive funds as part of the Virginia Department of Education e-Learning Backpack Grant. Phase 1 included a total of 15 schools and was funded through a combination of FCPS and the VDOE e-Learning Backpack grant funding.

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