TPSD begins issuing laptops Friday

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Macbook computers will start going home with Tupelo students Friday.
The laptop computers, which are part of the district’s one-to-one computer initiative for students in sixth through 12th grade, will be issued to Tupelo High School seniors on Friday, said deputy superintendent Diana Ezell. Juniors, sophomores and freshmen will get theirs next week.
The start of the program was delayed to give the district time to analyze the program and develop more extensive training for students, teachers and parents, as well as complete repairs and maintenance ahead of the second year of the initiative.
“We needed time to work with students on proper care,” Ezell told the school board on Tuesday.
The high school students completed 2 1/2 hours of training sessions over five days this week. Parents are being offered more in-depth training at school open house events.
Students at Tupelo Middle School and Milam Elementary are slated to receive their computers over the next three weeks as training sessions are completed.
At Tuesday’s school board meeting, administrators proposed a policy change allowing the laptop usage fee to be waived. The waiver, which uses the same guidelines as the free and reduced lunch program, would only cover the $50 usage fee, not any fines levied for misuse, Ezell said.
The school board is expected to make a final consideration of the policy at its next meeting Sept. 27.

michaela.morris@journalinc.com