Chromebook Update

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Chromebook audit

The audit has now finished and the Chromebooks will be returned to the students in a managed rollout after the bank holiday weekend.  Devices not returned to students will either be in a managed pool and signed out on a daily basis, or sent off for repair if economically viable.  No new chromebooks will be issued, as we do not currently have any spare stock. Information concerning the condition of Chromebooks loaned to individual students will be sent out on Tuesday and include any reasons why Chromebooks are not able to be returned at this point.

The initial audit was done over the Easter holidays to determine the loaned Chromebooks’ condition and the potential cost to the school of repair.   The devices were checked, cleaned where needed and stickers & pen marks removed where possible. They were asset counted, labelled and their condition was rated Good, Fair or Poor:

Good – Device charging, screen/case intact, good working order, no or minimal damage.
Fair – As above, working, some damage perhaps requiring repair.
Poor – Device not working, damaged, either requiring repair or beyond economical repair.
During the audit it became apparent that several devices were being used for gaming & non Route 39 accounts and a few students were able to bypass the school’s Wifi controls put in place to keep them safe on the internet whilst at school by installing Apps & extensions.  This means students were able to connect to restricted websites, such as social media sites, whilst at school. We have established a more efficient way of managing the Chromebooks by the school IT Admin system, and this has been implemented to ensure continued online safety for Chromebook users at school.  This extra requirement meant that the devices could not be returned to the students after the Easter break until a fix had been sought and as we are without an ITC Department to help, this has taken a little longer than we expected, thank you for your patience.

A baseline solution has now been rolled out.  The Chromebooks are now enrolled onto a Device Management System.  They have been set up to allow only ‘@route39.org.uk’ accounts to access them and the students are no longer able to install apps which allow them to bypass our security on the school’s internet access.  The school’s Chromebooks can now be tracked, managed remotely and the user access monitored. A smarter set up and any further changes can be applied remotely at a later stage when we have an IT presence but for now we are back working.

Chromebooks taken home will still be able to access your internet provision at home.  Please note that this is unrestricted, uncontrolled access to the internet unless you have preconfigured restrictions such as parental controls on your home WiFi.  The school cannot monitor usage at home but do remind parents and students of their signed Acceptable Use Agreement.

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend,

Lynsey Slater, Principal