All students in grades 6-12 are issued a district-owned Chromebook to allow access to materials and completion of exercises, activities, projects, and assignments. Just as with district-owned textbooks, students and their parents are responsible for the care of the Chromebook and assume financial responsibility for it. There are good reasons to take good care of one's Chromebook:
- Avoiding paying repair/replacement costs. If one accidentally damages a Chromebook (and neglected to purchase a $20 protection plan for the year), the repair/replacement costs are significant. If one loses a Chromebook or has it stolen, the replacement costs are significant. If one intentionally damages a Chromebook, regardless of the purchase of a protection plan, the repair/replacement costs are significant. Chromebook models currently in use range in cost between $289 and $580.
- Avoiding the wait for repairs. Due to supply chain issues, our repair vendors, cannot always source replacement parts in a timely manner. The wait for repairs has often been lengthy.
- Avoiding having to complete alternate assignments. Students who have lost, damaged, or destroyed their Chromebooks, and have no computer available at home, may need to complete assignments different from those of their class until repair or replacement can be accomplished.
Taking good care of the Chromebook will help to ensure a long life. Many of the Chromebooks that got North Pocono through the pandemic were in service for over a decade. Below are things you can do to care for your Chromebook.
The number one most important thing that you can do to eliminate the cost of non-intentional damage or destruction of the Chromebook is to buy a protection plan. The North Pocono School District provides protection for only $20 per year. Three things to note:
- Protection plan enrollment is only available through September 30 of any given school year.
- To avoid running afoul of the law, you must purchase protection prior to any damage occurring to a Chromebook in order to file a claim.
- Chromebook chargers are not covered by the protection plan.
- Theft and loss are not covered by the protection plan.
- Intentional damage is not covered by the protection plan. Only accidental damage is covered by the protection plan. This is generally limited to screen and case damage from accidental drops, liquid damage from accidental spills, and port damage from tripping over the power cord or dropping the Chromebook on its side while plugged in. The following are some examples of the sort of damage not covered because insurers consider them intentional, willful acts:
- Keys missing from the keyboard
- Writing, drawing, or painting (with paint, nail polish, ink, or other materials) on the Chromebook
- Carving, scratching, or engraving any part of the Chromebook
- Stabbing the case of the Chromebook
- Kicking, punching, bending, sitting on, standing on, stomping, head-butting, or driving on the Chromebook
- Disassembling and removing screws or other parts from the Chromebook
- Stripping identifying stickers from the Chromebook
- Removing the protective cover from the Chromebook
- Affixing stickers to the Chromebook that remove paint when pulled off (any stickers added should be added to the protective cover in such a way as to not obscure identifying stickers placed there by the manufacturer or district); please note that student-placed stickers and any adhesive residue left behind by them must be removed from the Chromebook and protective cover before returning the Chromebook
The number one most important thing that you can do to prevent damage to the Chromebook is to purchase a case. While the snap-on covers provided by the school offer some degree of protection, adding a case improves the level of protection. There are many styles of bags and sleeves designed to protect laptops. We aren't able to recommend a particular manufacturer or model, but we can recommend that anything you do buy has excellent drop and crush protection.
- The Chromebook should be kept free of water, liquids, corrosive chemicals, dirt, ink, eraser, paint, and any other damaging debris.
- The Chromebook should not be dropped, thrown, crushed, twisted, pinched, stabbed, bent, kicked, written/erased on, or otherwise physically damaged.
- The Chromebook should not be subjected to extreme temperatures.
- The Chromebook should be secured at all times; neither theft nor loss absolve financial responsibility.
- To clean, you can wipe the outer shell and keyboard with a BARELY DAMP (not wet, not dripping) antibacterial wipe. The screen should be wiped with a soft cloth that is BARELY DAMP with plain water...no detergents.
- All stickers and labels on the Chromebook when received must remain. Removing these labels may subject you to a fee.
- All stickers and labels, including associated adhesive, added to the Chromebook by the student must be removed before returning it for repair or replacement.
Chromebook damage typically occurs during transport from one location to another. There are many hazards that one can encounter while one is walking with a computer and so protection is essential during transport. A bookbag/backpack is NOT protective of a Chromebook. Bookbags/backpacks are often tossed without thinking and they are often filled with rigid, heavy textbooks. Crush and drop damage often occurs when Chromebooks are placed in bookbags/backpacks. If you insist on placing a Chromebook in a bookbag/backpack, please ensure that it is in a case with good drop and crush protection and that the book bag is not stuffed in such as way as to put pressure on the Chromebook.
Much like any portable electronic, keeping Chromebooks away from known hazards is key to long life. Students have discovered all sorts of these hazards, which we present below as cautionary tales for all.
- Food and drink: all food and drink, especially liquids or semi-liquids, including all beverages, yogurt, cereal (especially in milk of any type), sno cones, ice cream, salt, cooking oil, etc.
- Liquids: all liquids, even if in a temporary solid state, including water, saline solution, bodily fluids, ocean water, pond water, pool water, ice and snow, brake cleaner, motor oil, perfume/cologne, makeup, soaps and shampoos, paint, hair dye, nail polish, etc.
- Pets: all pets are potential hazards, whether via bodily fluids, chewing, relocating, or spilling
- Beaches: beyond ocean water, sand is an enemy of the Chromebook
- Automobiles: The hood, the roof, tires, the trunk lid, or the trunk itself hate Chromebooks. Also, windows. Stay clear.
- Stairs: Stairs serve as a hazard when the Chromebook or the container in which a Chromebook is stored traverses the stairs via the air (such as throwing a bookbag up the stairs or throwing the bookbag down the stairs). Stairs are also a hazard when people carrying the Chromebook attempt to work on the Chromebook while climbing or descending the stairs.
- Bleachers: An extension to stairs are bleachers, which, when you think about it, are like really big stairs. In addition to the dangers presented by regular stairs, bleachers have some dangers all their own. Bleachers are most often located near athletic events in which objects fly at a high rate of speed. They are also places with lots of foot traffic that is more engaged with the events on the field than with where their feet are going. Bleachers also provide ample opportunity for objects to fall great distances through a maze of steel bars.
- Bathrooms: No explanation necessary. No bathrooms for Chromebooks ever under any circumstance.
- Power cords: Ensure that Chromebooks charge with a power cord that does not lie in a pathway for people (including for the user of the Chromebook). The trip hazard created is a danger not only to the Chromebook (which can quickly be sent airborne), but also to people.
While many of these hazards may seem silly, they are pulled directly from our experience. Hopefully this experience helps your Chromebook avoid unnecessary danger.
When Care Fails...
If all of your efforts to care for a Chromebook fail and breakage happens, your child's school guidance office is the point of contact to initiate the processes that respond to the breakage. The guidance office will connect with the Technology Department to evaluate the state of the Chromebook. If the damage requires repair or replacement and the Chromebook is covered by a protection plan, the Technology Department will work with the insurance company to get the repair or replacement done. If the damage requires repair or replacement and there is no protection plan coverage, the district business office will make arrangements with the parent/guardian for payment.
If a Chromebook charger is damaged, parents can simply replace it on their own. Our deployed Chromebooks all use standard USB-C 45W+ chargers. As of August 2023, the following chargers are examples of those that work: Acer and Amazon. Please note that these links take you to a site outside of the North Pocono website; the North Pocono School District is not responsible for the content of these sites.