Lost, damaged laptops costing Lawrence schools thousands each year

LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Lawrence School District is exploring options to require middle and high school students to help pay for the costs of repairing or replacing district-issued iPads and MacBooks. 

According to a report by the district’s technology director, the district will need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace missing computers and accessories lost last year — $121,781 to $135,011. 

In her report, the director suggested three possible solutions. They include requiring students to purchase an insurance policy, requiring students to pay a fee per issue and requiring students to pay for the lost devices and accessories or repairs. 

Students who qualify for free and reduced lunches would have certain fees waived. 

In an effort to improve its student-to-device ration, the Lawrence School District issues each middle school student an iPad. The district provides high school students with MacBooks, instead.

41 Action News looked at computer policies for other districts across the metro, many of which require or present an optional insurance fee students and parents can purchase for their devices. 

Here’s a closer look at each school district’s policy. 41 Action News is still waiting for a response from Shawnee and Kansas City, Kansas schools.

KCPS:

If the computer is deemed to be intentionally or negligently damaged by the student, the student may be subject to discipline and the cost of repair or replacement.

The circumstances of each situation involving lost equipment will be investigated individually. Students/families may be billed for damaged or lost equipment.

 

NORTH KANSAS CITY:

For $20 per year, there is an optional risk management program available for the iPad devices. There is no deductible and the program covers damage to the device. If damage occurs to an iPad not covered by the risk management program, a payment scale is in place for differing types of damage.

Families will be responsible for full payment of damage costs should they opt to not purchase the risk management program.

 

LEE’S SUMMIT:

The Lee’s Summit School District will be following the practice of collecting a mobile device insurance fee each school year. The fees are applied to the accidental damage costs in the Chromebook lease. The annual fee amount will be $30, and will be collected at the time of registration or prior to students receiving the device. The district will have a process for families qualifying for free or reduced lunch to reduce the amount of the fee. The mobile device insurance fee will not be reimbursed to students at the end of the year. This is an annual fee and provides insurance coverage on an annual basis.

 

BLUE VALLEY:

We are currently in the process of assessing district budget and an insurance/fee structure for families, including reevaluating the current technology fee.

We are currently in the process of investigating insurance opportunities and defining the process for device loss, theft or damage. We will provide more information as it is available.

 

OLATHE:

Students will be required to pay a fee if their laptop is damaged or lost. The fee will be based on the age of the laptop and the specific repairs required.

We will not offer an insurance plan.

 

PARK HILL:

The parent/guardian is responsible for the cost of repair or replacement if the laptop is damaged, not returned, lost, or stolen.

The district is providing parents/guardians the opportunity to purchase optional insurance ($50 or $25). This agreement will limit out-of-pocket cost to repair or replace damaged laptops.

 

GRANDVIEW:

1. Students and parents agree to pay an annual $50, $30, or $20 non-refundable laptop usage fee, corresponding to family eligibility in the Federal Child Nutrition Program for full-priced, reduced-priced, or free school lunch, respectively, within the federal meals program.

2. Students and parents also agree to pay the full replacement cost — currently $1050 — of any computer that is lost, stolen and unrecovered, or intentionally destroyed.

3. Students and parents also agree to pay the full replacement cost (if optional insurance is not purchased) — currently $79 — for any lost, stolen, or damaged power cords.

4. Students and parents may purchase an optional insurance policy through Grandview C-4 School District for $80/$0 deductible annually, for accidental damage, liquid submersion, fire/flood damage, vandalism, natural disasters, power surge damage due to lightning, loss or theft.

5. Students/parents who do not purchase District insurance agree to pay the District 40% of the full cost for repairing non-warranty, accidental damage to the computer. The maximum amount of this fee per incident is estimated at $420.00.

6. Students/parents must pay all repair fees and fines for any lost/stolen laptop related items before they may receive the laptop again the following year.

7. The terms “equipment” or “technology” refers to laptops and power cord/chargers.

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