An Accurate Look at Affton Chromebooks

On June 10, the South County Times published an article, “High Rates of Damage To Chromebooks In Affton School District.” This story was based on a report made at the Affton Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, June 7, and we would like to clarify a few points:

The article cites that 200 of the more than 1,500 Chromebooks deployed to students at Rogers Middle School and Affton High School have been damaged.

  • In the 2015-2016 school year, 190 total devices were submitted for warranty repair. These damages can range from defective screens to WiFi not working, and other manufacturer defects.
  • During the same school year, a total of 81 Chromebooks – 47 at Rogers Middle and 34 at Affton High School – were damaged outside of the scope of warranty repair and resulted in fines.
  • The 81 damaged Chromebooks total 5.4 percent, which is well under the 10 percent damage rate expected when the 1:1 program was deployed in the district.

“We have been pleased with the durability and performance of the Dell Chromebooks that are in the hands of our middle and high school students,” said Adam Jasinski, Director of Technology. “In fact, the damage has been so low, we successfully negotiated an extended warranty at no additional cost for Chromebooks added to our deployment, and we are able to offer a less expensive insurance option for our families that has more coverage for damage.”

On the topic of fines, the article details the fines charged and that roughly half of the fines are not paid.

  • As reported on June 7, the net loss for unpaid fines due to damaged Chromebooks for the 2015-2016 school year is less than $3,000.
  • Again, this amount is less than expected, although we anticipate recovering outstanding fines as students transition from middle school to high school, where over 80 percent of outstanding fines have been paid.

“In 2014 when we deployed the 1:1 Chromebook program at Affton High School and again in 2015 when we expanded to Rogers Middle School, we expected a certain percentage of devices to be damaged. We recognize that it is our 11- to 18-year-old students being armed with this technology and that there simply is not any device that is indestructible,” said Tom Bellavia, president of the Affton Board of Education. “Over the past two years, we have been impressed with not only the performance of the Chromebooks, but also the responsibility that our students have demonstrated in caring for these devices. Accidents happen, and it is extremely important to the Board that we have options in place so our families are not burdened with full repair costs on the first, or even the second, incidence of damage.”

In the third paragraph, the article states: “But while the district anticipated the drawback of damage to and technical failure of a percentage of the Chromebook units they began issuing in 2014, the problem has proven to be substantial enough to spur a new policy to ensure their continued availability.”

  • It has never been a consideration of the district to discontinue the 1:1 Chromebook program at Affton High School or Rogers Middle School.
  • Jasinski’s report to the Board on June 7 was an update on a change to the Chromebook warranty and to the insurance program offered for information only; it was not a policy and the Board did not take any action.

Finally, the article includes information about the new annual insurance program that will be offered to middle and high school families in the 2016-2017 school year.

  • The district will be offering a Chromebook insurance program run in-house, differing from that offered by 1-1 Risk Solutions in years previous.
  • Moving forward, the cost to enroll will be $20 per student in grades 6 to 12.
  • This fee covers any damages excluding loss at 100 percent for up to two incidences of damage per year.

Should you have any additional questions about the 1:1 Chromebook program or the new Chromebook insurance program, please contact Adam Jasinski, Director of Technology.