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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -
Students attending Huntsville City schools are set to receive a laptop or tablet for school by the next school year.
The district is making plans to lease up to 11,000 new laptops for students in the fifth to twelfth grade.
"They would keep those for three years and then we'll do a refresh," said Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski.
Fourth graders will inherit the netbooks that fifth graders received last fall.
"Based on the success of the effort that we've seen, and the need for a little bit more robust device at higher grades, we're going to slide those fifth grade netbooks down to third grade," Dr. Wardynski said.
In a school board meeting Tuesday night, Dr. Wardynski said students below third grade will likely receive I-Pads in a separate contract agreement.
School officials said they received a good deal for the Hewlett Packard laptops, which will cost $207 each to lease, as opposed to the $1,100 purchasing price.
After three years, the district will have an option to buy each laptop computer for $45.
Dr. Wardynski said they will be equipped with web cameras that can be disabled when the time is appropriate.
As for security, each laptop will be insured and have warranties for manufactured defects.
They will also be installed with a system that will disable the computer if it is stolen.
Dr. Wardynski said the new laptops will transition the district into going paperless.
"We're at a crossroads regarding textbooks," said Dr. Wardynski. "So if we're going to skip the next purchase of paper textbooks, we'll need the technology to enable us to go electronic. This is kind of a dual decision. We're going to cross the Rubicon and begin doing electronic as opposed to paper."
To complement the new hardware, school officials said they're working to install Wi-Fi in classrooms by the first semester.