LA PLATA, Md. – Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) staff is working to inventory and provide laptops to all secondary students, and complete requests for devices at the elementary-school level. Some students may receive a device by the first day of school, Monday, Aug. 31, while others may be assigned a laptop shortly after the start of the school year. High school devices are being readied for distribution and the middle school devices are set to be ready in mid-September. Laptops for elementary school students are provided from current CCPS inventories and assigned to families as requested.
How to request a device or a hotspot
Parents of students in need of a device, or internet access through use of a hotspot, must complete a request for technology on the CCPS website using AskCCPS. To access the system, click the AskCCPS button located under the photo slideshow at www.ccboe.com. AskCCPS is a ticketing system staff use to monitor requests, and filter the requests to a child’s school.
To request a laptop or hotspot, visit https://www.ccboe.com/askccps/ and select the Open a New Ticket blue menu from the right-hand side of the page. Requests should include a person’s name, email address and telephone number. Select Request a Laptop under the Help Topic menu to complete the request form. Parents will need their child’s CCPS-issued student identification number to file a request.
Staff are processing all requests as received and as soon as possible. Parents can monitor their request status on AskCCPS once submitted.
High school devices
New laptops for high school students have been provided to school staff, who are inventorying and enabling the devices for each student. This initiative will provide a laptop to every CCPS high school student. High school principals will contact families once a student’s laptop is ready to be picked up. Any high school freshmen who still has a device issued to them from their middle school in the spring must first return the device to the middle school before receiving the new laptop. Parents of freshmen should call their child’s former middle school and ask when the device can be returned. High school freshmen will not receive a new laptop until they return the device loaned to them during middle school.
Middle school devices
New laptops for all CCPS middle school students are set to arrive mid-September. Middle schoolers who have a laptop issued to them last school year should keep the device to begin the school year. Parents of students who need a device to begin school should complete a request through AskCCPS.
Middle school principals will contact families once the new devices are available for pick up.
Any new sixth grader with a laptop issued by their former elementary school can continue to use it until the new laptop is available. Parents will need to return the device to the elementary school that issued it once the new laptop is ready for pick up. Parents should monitor their email for updates from their child’s school.
Elementary school students
Elementary students who received a device in the spring from their school can continue to use it this school year. Parents of elementary schoolers who need a device can complete a request on AskCCPS.
CCPS received federal funding to purchase unlimited data hotspot devices for underserved students that families can use that feature built-in website filters. Underserved students are defined as those who do not have broadband internet access. While CCPS staff has identified some students in need of internet, parents who need internet access can complete a hotspot request on AskCCPS.
Additional internet resources available to families
The Comcast Internet Essentials program provides internet for $9.95 per month to families who qualify. Visit https://www.internetessentials.com/ to learn more.
The Charles County Public Library is offering a limited supply of free internet hotspot devices. Visit https://www.ccplonline.org/about/mobile-hotspots/ for more information.
CCPS received funding from a CARES Act technology grant to provide all high school students with a laptop. CCPS received nearly $3 million to support this initiative through the CARES Act, which was passed earlier this year and provides school districts with COVID-19 aid. With this funding, CCPS purchased nearly 9,000 laptops for high school students.
CCPS also received funding through the Maryland Technology Grant as part of the state Coronavirus Relief Fund. This funding, roughly $3 million, was used to support a one device per middle school student initiative. CCPS plans to provide about 7,000 new laptops to middle-school students after the devices arrive next month.
CCPS used additional state funding received by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) to purchase mobile hotpots for students.