NAMPA -- The Nampa School District is launching a three-year personalized learning initiative that officials hope will allow students to create their own path to knowledge through technology.
This week, nearly 2,000 Dell Latitude laptops will be issued to Columbia High School students as phase one of the project ramps up. The computers will be used both in class and at home.
"I think it's going to be fun having a laptop around," said sophomore Trevor Young. "Always having something to keep track of what I have."
In November, Nampa School District voters passed an increased supplemental levy of $7.78 million with $3.5 million earmarked to modernize classroom technology, curriculum and provide professional development for teachers.
The district's plan is to equip all students and teachers with the electronic tools they need to support personalized learning.
"It's about the interaction that kids can have with their world, with their teachers and with each other through digital collaboration," said Superintendent David Peterson.
He told KTVB the district is moving toward more content creation and project-based learning.
Ninth-graders will be issued laptops that they will use throughout all four years at Columbia.
District leaders understand many families can't afford a computer and these laptops will become their home computer as well. They say that's OK, as long as the laptop makes it back to school the next day.
"We're also providing insurance at a very low cost for the families so that they'll be safe and won't have to buy a computer if they lose it," Peterson added.
Nampa School District officials say they've modeled this program after other schools that have found success, but they understand there will be a learning curve.
"We're a school," said Peterson. "We learn, we try things and we learn."
Laptop distribution at Columbia High School continues through Thursday.
Each laptop comes loaded with the apps and programs students need for school and they can't add new ones. Internet access is also filtered both on and off campus. Students and parents must sign an acceptable use agreement.
After the rollout at Columbia, about 2,700 iPads will be distributed to students at five elementary schools throughout the Nampa School District.
Over the next three years, Peterson says every student in the district will be involved in the personalized learning initiative.
For more information on the project, click here.