Device distribution slated this week at Highlands

Highlands families can pick up their district-issued Chromebooks and iPads during four separate events over the next week.

Devices will be doled out from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday and 4 to 8 p.m. Aug. 29.

The cost for a protection plan is $30 per device for families who choose to purchase the insurance.

The fee dropped 40%, as in recent years it cost $50 for the plan. It is payable by cash or check at the time of pickup.

Insurance covers unlimited accidental damage but not loss or theft.

Classes resume in the district on Aug. 31.

Highlands is a 1:1 technology district, where each of the nearly 2,230 students in pre-K through grade 12 gets a computer.

Pre-K students and first graders are given iPads, while the rest of the students get Chromebooks for learning.

Superintendent Monique Mawhinney said the technology is vital to level the playing field for students.

“It’s important that each student has the proper technology to complete assignments or projects that require the use of the Internet or a device,” she said.

The district also provides Hot Spots to families without Internet to assure they can use the device at home.

This generation of students grew up with devices in their hands as toddlers, Mawhinney said.

Using technology in the classroom is a way to engage students and allow them to use the devices as a learning tool.

“As much as the older generation may not like it, cell phones and technology are how our children communicate, and we must find a way to incorporate it into their learning environment,” she said. “However, it is critical that we balance the use of these devices to assure our students are learning the important skills to function as a well-rounded student in the real world.”

Students are protected on internet browsing through Lightspeed Relay, a cloud-based web filter that monitors and blocks questionable content.

Computers will be doled out in the high school auditorium. Families should use the courtyard doors to access the event.

In addition, orientations will be hosted this week for students in kindergarten, first, fifth and ninth grades, along with those new to the district.

Students in first grade can attend a session from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the elementary school. That same day, students in fifth grade can attend a program from 9 to 11:45 a.m. at the middle school.

Ninth graders can attend a program at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday at the high school, while the pre-K and kindergarten session will be 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the early childhood center.

For more, visit the district website at

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya by email at or via Twitter .

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