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Atlantis Charter School Purchases 1,400 New Chromebooks to Boost Digital Learning

Investment in new technology gives school a 1-to-1 student-to-computer ratio as educators prepare a hybrid approach to teaching this fall due to COVID-19 pandemic

Atlantis Charter School, a public charter school serving students in Kindergarten through Grade 12, announced the purchase of 1,400 new Chromebook laptops and tablets. The investment enables the school to achieve a 1-to-1 ratio between students and technology as educators plan for the possibility of both distance learning and in-classroom instruction this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Atlantis was committed to providing one device for every student as part of our efforts to develop a more robust digital learning program, but the pandemic sped up the timetable,” said Robert Beatty, executive director of Atlantis Charter School. “A lot of things could change over the coming weeks and months, but by preparing now we will be in a better position to respond to new challenges.”

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Prior to the school closure in March, Atlantis surveyed students and found that approximately 90 percent reported having access to a device (computer, laptop, tablets, phone, etc.) at home. However, those devices vary by type and are often shared among family members so Atlantis made it a priority to provide students with a device they would not have to share, and that aligned with the school’s curriculum.

“Our goal is to be able to provide learning from anywhere. Having upgraded technology to help meet the needs of students is critical to any well-functioning remote learning plan,” said Michael Lauro, associate executive director of Atlantis Charter School. “This purchase ensures we can put a laptop in the hands of every one of our students this fall, allowing for a seamless transition between in-person learning and remote learning.”

As a result of the statewide closure of public schools beginning in March, Atlantis was able to repurpose funds that would have gone toward regular operations to purchase 1,200 Dell 11 Chromebook laptops for grades 2-12 and 220 Asus Chromebook tablets for K-1 students. Atlantis also purchased upgraded laptops for classroom teachers to better facilitate remote learning.

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“It’s not just about having a device, it’s about having the right device,” Beatty said. “We know the tablets, for instance, are more developmentally appropriate for younger students so they can demonstrate their learning using a touch screen rather than typing.”

Atlantis is currently developing plans for in-person instruction, the continuation of remote learning, and a hybrid of both as required by state guidelines issued in late June. Administrators will be in close contact with families over the summer to gauge their needs for the 2020-21 academic year and come up with a plan that best meets the needs of the Atlantis community.

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