DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Darlington County School Board decided on Monday night to allow graduating seniors to keep their laptops provided by the district.
Usually, the laptops are retired and sold after a student graduates, but the school board wanted to honor their seniors who have worked hard through a difficult semester.
Darlington County Superintendent Dr. Tim Newman said they are excited to honor their graduates in this way, so they can have something to use as they move forward with college or the workforce.
“It’s a tool that we all need right now, regardless of what you do after high school, you have to have a computer in order to interact in your regular day,” said Newman.
Darlington County students pay a technology fee every year as insurance on the laptops, which Newman said is being considered as payment for the devices.
“So we thought they’ve already paid four years worth of technology fees, so instead of us going to the secondary market which might not be as good right now because of the times we are in, it would be better to honor our students with those,” said Newman.
If a graduating senior has not paid the technology fee all four consecutive years of high school, a fee will be due in order to keep the MacBook:
- $200 for no years of technology fees paid
- $150 for one year of technology fees paid
- $100 for two years of technology fees paid
- $50 for three years of technology fees paid
“Seniors will be required to turn in their laptops to have school district programs removed and the computer reformatted. When the laptops are returned to the students, the students will sign an agreement relieving the district of all responsibility for the computers. Laptops that are not turned in for reformatting will be disabled and reported as stolen,” a press release from the Darlington County School District stated.
Damaged devices can be sent to the insurance company prior to the insurance expiration date of June 30. Since the repair process can take several weeks, officials said students may also need to come back during the summer to pick up a repaired device.
Hartsville High School senior Sarah Childers will attend Wofford in the fall.
Childers said it’s a huge relief that she won’t have to purchase a new laptop following graduation as college expenses add up.
“Almost every college requires you to have a laptop and most people can’t afford it. For me having to pay for college and college supplies this is one less thing I have to buy and that’s a big help for me and it’s really important to have a device I am comfortable with and have been using the last four years,” said Newman.
Newman said this a great way to show support for their seniors as they move on and honor them with something they can continue to use in the future.