HCS K-4 grades seeing new technology fee when digital devices are borrowed

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County School parents with students in lower elementary may see a technology fee for the first time.

This year for virtual and hybrid learning the district increased funding to provide iPads for kindergarten through fourth grades.

“Just alone from Kindergarten through second grade that’s about four million dollars worth of funding to provided that’s one to one devices and for grades three and four it was about 1.4 million dollars,” said district spokesperson Lisa Bourcier.

The 25 technology fee will be charged per student if a device is borrowed from the district.

A necessity if class becomes virtual.

“It’s very important more than ever this school year that we’re able to continue instruction no matter what the situation looks like,” said Bourcier.

Families who can’t afford the fee are asked to speak with their school principal about options.

Families who may not pay the fee can still receive a device; however, they will be responsible for the full cost of repairs or the replacement of a lost device, which likely will exceed $25. Regardless of whether the fee is paid or not, parents must pay the replacement cost for a lost device. 

The district says siblings may also be able to share at home if they are learning on the same devices, but would need to be discussed with their principal.

“There may be a way to provide three different log-in accounts,” said Bourcier.

The fee acts as insurance and will cover the cost of repair if a device becomes damaged or broken.

“It is a borrowed device and we want to make sure that they take care of them and make sure that they can get the most out of it that they can,” said Bourcier.

Bourcier says families with digital resources at home should make sure their personal devices are compatible with their teacher’s online lesson plans.

If a family has their own digital devices that can be used for virtual learning, they will not be required to pay the fee.

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