Proviso Township High School District 209 is ramping up its effort to equip all students in the district with laptops at no cost to the students. 

The implementation of what’s called a strategic 1:1 initiative will be rolled out in different phases, with the first phase launching this fall, as 500 freshmen at Proviso East High School were scheduled to receive Windows HP ProBook laptops. The remaining 4,500 students in the district will receive the devices in the 2019-2020 school year. 

The cost of the program through 2021-22 is projected to be around $4.8 million, according to a draft plan of the initiative presented by Superintendent Jesse Rodriguez at a board meeting last month. 

The projected cost for the 2018-19 rollout is $352,500. The projected cost of the 2019-20 rollout is $3.2 million. For 2020-21 and 2021-22, the district is projected to spend $352,500 and $881,250, respectively. 

The costs include all of the operating systems and software associated with the laptops. 

School board member Claudia Medina said that the new laptops will supplement other parts of the educational experiences that students gain through textbooks and other materials.

“It really does change the way they can use the tools,” Medina said. “That has been lacking to say the least. This 1:1 will bring a plethora of access … to our students.” 

In the draft document, Rodriguez explained that as “technology plays an ever-growing part in the world, to be consistent with District 209’s mission statement, there is an obligation to prepare students for an ever changing world, one that sees technological advancement happening at a rapid rate.”