Chromebook removal for testing creates access issues in the classroom


Administration removed Chromebook carts from classes to inventory them for PARCC and HSA testing. Photo by Lily Jacobson.

By Zoe Kaufmann

Students won’t have access to classroom Chromebook carts May 8–25 so that Whitman IT specialists can prepare and inventory them for upcoming PARCC and HSA testing.

Administration removed the Chromebooks from classes well before tests to avoid potential software and connectivity issues, assistant principal Rainer Kulenkampff said.

“This is an abundance of caution to make sure that everything is working by the time of the tests,” Kulenkampff said. “Because this is the first year we’re doing this, we’re being careful.”

Though the school originally purchased the laptops for testing, teachers have integrated them into many lessons to provide in-class internet access without moving the class to a computer lab.

Some teachers said that the Chromebooks’ absence has disrupted their class plans; the county requires tenth grade English students, for example, to write essays for the RQA, so the Chromebooks’ removal has forced some teachers to restructure the writing process.

“We’ve taken advantage of all these tools which have become integral to the writing process,” English teacher Matthew Bruneel said. “To remove that tool when the county says, ‘we need them for a really long period of time,’ is pretty damaging to our work.”

In addition to hindering teachers’ completion of lesson plans, the lack of Chromebooks has also prevented some students from completing homework during extra class time.

“It’s pretty annoying because even if we have extra time in class, we can’t access online textbooks to start the homework,” freshman Madeline Wenger said. “It’s extra work at home that could have been done in class.”

Teachers and students will regain access to the carts after testing concludes May 25.