Dickson County Schools

Every Student Every Day

Parent Distance & Digital Learning FAQ's

Parent Frequently Asked Questions

What device is required for digital or distance learning? Families that choose the distance learning option will need to have adequate access to the Internet and a computing device to complete the required instruction. Any laptop, desktop, preferrably with a microphone and web camera, or Chromebook is an acceptable device. District devices are available to distance learning students upon request. This should have been selected during the distance learning registration process but can also be requested when completing the Portable Device Agreement
 
Students who are attending school on-site and are bringing a personal device are recommended to bring any laptop or Chromebook. District devices will be supplied to students attending school on-site and who opted to receive a district device once school has began.
 
iPads and Android tablets are not recommended for digital classwork.
 
How will the laptops be distributed if you choose the distance learning option? If you indicated that your student needs a district device when you registered for the distance learning program, Chromebooks will be available for pick up at your student’s school. The schools will communicate with families the pick-up times and procedures. 
 
What if you don’t have Internet? We have placed 10 WiFi Hotspots with local community partners. Locations, passwords and more information can be found here. You can also use any publicly available WiFi for connectivity. In addition, there are some low-cost internet options available. More information can be found at and **Dickson County Schools does not endorse any company/service over another. This is for community informational purposes only. 
 
Most assignments and digital resources will be available to be downloaded while connected to school or hotspot wifi then opened offline while at home. The technical steps of how this works will be included on our how to use digital learning section (to be developed).
 
Does it matter what device we use for virtual/digital instruction (watching lecture online)? Devices that support data capability are required. In most cases, mobile apps are available for the web-based resources we will utilize such as Google Classroom and Edgenuity. The preferred device would be a laptop or Chromebook with web-cam and microphone capabilities. iPads and Android tablets should work but are not recommended.
 
Will there be resources for families to understand how to use devices and digital learning platforms? Yes. We plan to add content to our website that will help families understand how to use a Chromebook as well as navigate Google Classroom and other digital resources and content. Announcements will follow as it becomes available.
 
Who do we contact if we have technical difficulties using the district issued Chromebook? For distance learning students, you may contact Dr. Mason with your questions. For at-school students, contact your teacher(s) and they will assist you. If they are unable to resolve the issue they will contact the school system's technology department.
 
What platform will be used for distance and digital learning? Google Classroom is the primary district platform that will be used for instruction. This video helps explain what Google Classroom is and how to use it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Iowi-gmbys
 
Do I need to fill out a Technology Protection Plan if my child will be attending school on-site?  Yes, the Technology Protection Plan is for all students regardless of where they are schooling (home-distance learning or on-site at the school). This will cover either a replacement power cord, replacement screen or replace the whole device. ***NOTE*** This will cover any of these 3 not all three.
 
Do I have to pay for a protection plan every year? At this time, the protection plan is a one-time payment until needed. If the protection must be used to replace/repair a Chromebook, a new protection plan must be purchased for future coverage. There may be a small continuing coverage charge after this school year but has yet to be determined.
 
How will devices be issued to students? Each school has developed a plan to distribute devices to students who are attending on-site. Each student will be assigned a device for the year. Devices will be picked up every morning at school, then returned for charging ovenight. Distance learning students will pick up their devices on Thursday, August 6th from 4-5:30 from their primary school assignment.
 
Will my student be able to bring their Chromebook home? Each school will have a take-home policy in place. Obviously, distance learning students will take a Chromebook home.
 
Will students have restrictions to sites when using district issued Chromebooks at home? Yes, we have educational filters in place that will prevent your child from going to certain websites. As with any filter system, it is not 100% so parents should always monitor their child's internet activity.
 
Will my student use the same device at school each day? What if another student uses the device will parent be responsible if broken? Students should be issued the same device every day. This will ultimately be a school-by-school decision. If students receive a different device each day, devices will be sanitized every afternoon and checked for damages to insure students aren't falsely charged with device damage.
 
What do I do if my child's device needs to be repaired or replaced? If a device gets damaged, lost or stolen, contact your child's school to request a replacement.
 
What if the student has 2 accidents will parent have to pay full replacement cost? If a student uses the protection plan to repair or replace their device, parents have the option to reenroll again in the protection plan for additional coverage.
 
I am concerned that my elementary student will not be able to keep up with a device all day, therefore, concerned that it will get broken or lost. How will schools handle younger students? Teachers and school staff will assist younger students in handling their devices while at school. Parents will be responsible for at-home care of the device.
 
Parents of distance-learning students will also be responsible for care of student devices.
 
Where can I pay by cash or check for fee? On the protection plan enrollment form there is an option to state that you will send cash/check to the school for payment. Simply select this option and submit your payment to your child's school during the first few days of school. For distance learning students, checks/cash can be dropped off at your child's primary assigned school or New Directions Academy, 4000 Hwy 48 N, Charlotte, TN 37036 or Dickson County Board of Education - Central Office, 817 N. Charlotte Street, Dickson, TN 37055.
 
What if family can't afford fee? Please contact your child's school to let me them know of your situation. 
 
Please note: If a device is lost, stolen or pawned it will not longer be usable and will be locked by the District against unauthorized use.

Distance Learning Specific Q & A

Will distance learning students have access to all textbooks and workbooks as in-school students? Yes they will in grades K-8
 
Will my child's teacher be from their assigned school? Not necessarily. Distance learning teachers may be from other schools in the district. These selections were made based on distance learning enrollment.
 
When can I expect to hear from my child's distance learning teacher? You can expect to hear from your child's teacher the week of August 3rd - 7th. 
 
When will the distance learning program begin? Students will receive assignments from their teachers beginning the week of August 3rd - 7th. Google Classroom will start Monday, August 10th. 
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