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CCSD distributes more than 9,000 laptops to new 5th and 9th graders for the 2022-23 year

Students receive laptops at Smoky Hill High School on Aug. 15.Students across Cherry Creek Schools will start the 2022-23 school year with access to their own personal laptops, thanks to the generosity of district voters.

More than 9,600 Microsoft Surface Go laptops will be distributed to new 5th graders and 9th graders to start the new school year, thanks to funding approved by voters as part of the 2020 mill levy. This district-wide access to technology aligns with several of the district’s Five Core Values, including Equity, Engagement, and Growth Mindset.

“Giving every student a brand-new device ensures equitable access to technology, so that everyone has the same resources to learn, grow and succeed,” said Jason Koenig, Chief Information Officer for the district. “It also encourages our students to use technology to tap into a Growth Mindset, and it creates a common platform with their peers and their teachers. That aligns with Engagement.”

Koenig added that the district's technology team works hard to ensure that all of the laptops distributed to students are safe and secure.

"We work closely with Microsoft to provide anti-virus and malware protection on the devices," Koenig said. "We use a Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) compliant filter to protect students when they're on the internet. Finally, we utilize Microsoft InTune to limit what students can install on the devices."

Students reported to Smoky Hill High School on Aug. 15, the first day of school in CCSD, to collect their new devices. Anthony Ferrari, a specialist from Microsoft and a longtime technology partner with the district, was on hand with colleagues to help with distribution, answer questions, and ensure students had all the information they needed to make the best use of their new laptops.

“Today is deployment day, and giving these students access to these Surface Go computers really ensures equitable access to technology across the district,” Ferrari said. “It’s a premium device that fits the needs of middle and high school students,” he added, pointing out that teachers across the district have already benefited from the distribution of Surface Pro laptops over the past several years. “About 2,000 faculty members have already received their own laptops, and now students will be on the same page.”

In addition to the distribution of the laptops themselves, Ferrari and other Microsoft specialists work collaboratively with District technology staff to ensure that the new devices are fully and effectively integrated in classrooms, labs, and other district spaces. Microsoft has been a valued and long-time partner of CCSD helping to create and shape educational technology throughout the district and beyond.

“This is truly preparing all students for college and career readiness,” Ferrari said.

- Posted 8/30/22 at 9:30 a.m.