Laptops, hotspots available for students in need

May 10, 2022 – The information below is outdated and is being saved only for archive purposes.

For up-to-date information about the laptop distribution, please visit the district’s ECF Grant Laptops and Hotspots webpage.

April 5, 2022 – To help close the technology gap for students in need, the district is offering families the chance to apply for free laptops and hotspots.

There are approximately 43,000 laptops and 10,000 hot spots available to be loaned to students thanks to a federal grant called the Emergency Communications Fund. 

Because supplies are limited, and this is a one-time grant, families will have to complete a survey to help determine their eligibility. Eligibility is based on need.

A link to the survey is available in the parent’s FOCUS account. The survey is called the “Parent Emergency Communications Fund Survey.” and will be open Tuesday, April 5 – Tuesday, April 12. Surveys will continue to be collected until all technology has been handed out.

Additional information is below.

What type of technology is available?

With the grant, the district purchased approximately 10,000 hotspots and 43,000 Lenovo laptops. Every student will be supplied a copy of Microsoft Office 365 for their laptop.

How do I apply?

The link to the survey is in the parent’s FOCUS account. Review the steps to create a FOCUS account if you don’t already have one. Visit here for instructions on how to create one. Note that this process may take several days.

How is eligibility determined?

This offer is for students enrolled in a Duval County Public Schools’ traditional school. Charter school students are not eligible.

Priority is given to students and families in need. Therefore, questions include whether the student has access to a laptop or internet in the home, what is the family’s combined annual income, and whether the family receives public assistance.

Priority is also given to children in elementary school because both middle and high school students are already assigned take home laptops by the district.

Everyone that is in need should apply.

What is the timeline for laptop distribution?

Please allow up to two weeks for processing once the survey has been submitted. Within those two weeks, parents will receive an email confirming their student is eligible for a laptop. The email will also provide next steps for how to pick up the laptop at their child’s school, which should be available within 10 business days of receipt of the email.

Survey applications will be collected between April 5 and April 12. The district will review the results and determine laptop eligibility. Email notifications will be sent to families who have qualified during the week of April 25. A separate email will be sent to notify families when their student’s device has been shipped to their school.

Will students be able to take home the laptops?

Yes, once assigned a laptop, students can take and keep their laptops at home.

Will students have to return laptops/hotspots at the end of the year?

No, students will only return the laptops when they are no longer enrolled in the district. This can include when they graduate or if they transfer to another school district or a private school. 

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