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Quaker Valley replacing 490 broken, 1-year-old laptops

| Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

After one year of use, nearly 500 Dell laptop computers at Quaker Valley High School are being replaced because of cracks in the devices, administrators said this week.

The switch of 490 Dell Latitude 3330 model laptops to Latitude 3340 devices comes at no cost to the district, technology Director Karlton Chapman said.

He called the newer model a “more rugged design to withstand minor bumps.”

Chapman said the district had “several conversations with Dell representatives and executives about the cracked plastics.” He said Dell worked with the district to see how students were using and handling the laptops.

“Many of the students who experienced this problem stated that they were not carrying the laptop in the district-provided laptop sleeve,” Chapman said.

In 2013, Quaker Valley school board members approved spending $559,500 on a four-year lease for 1,173 computers and purchasing 500 Chromebooks with insurance and carrying cases. That included 500 Chromebooks issued to Quaker Valley Middle School students to use during the school day, 490 Dells issued to Quaker Valley High School freshmen, sophomores and juniors, 428 MacBook Airs for elementary and middle school labs, 205 MacBook Pros for teachers and 50 iMacs for staff.

At the high school, Quaker Valley provides each student with a district-issued computer he or she can take home during the year.

They've done so since 2001, when the school began issuing Apple computers to students.

Last year, leaders said switching from Apple to Dell would save the district money and still provide similar programs.

Because of the replacement of the Dell laptops, Chapman said, the district needs to “uphold our end of the bargain by careful handling and care of the laptops.

“The district provides a carrying case for transporting the laptop,” he said. “It is expected that students will use the case or an equal or better carrying alternative that will protect the laptop.”

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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