Huntsville students get hands on textbook replacements

The Huntsville City School district is ditching textbooks and passing out laptops instead.
The Huntsville City School district is ditching textbooks and passing out laptops instead.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - No more heavy backpacks for students in Huntsville. The Huntsville City School district is ditching textbooks and passing out laptops instead.
    
Students from 4th to 12th grade will all be issued a computer to take the place of a textbook for the new digital curriculum.

The switch is making Huntsville City Schools the largest district in the nation to convert to digital textbooks all at once.

"The old model was about spending about a $100 per textbook and with each student getting five books, it can add up," said Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski.

The computers will cost the district around $3.2 million the first year.

Dozens of parents and student lined up for early bird registration Tuesday. Once they got there, they signed a contract and paid a $35 fee. Students on free or reduced lunch were exempt.

If the computers ever get lost or stolen, they can be traced and disabled. Normal wear and tear is covered by insurance, but if they are mishandled it will fall back on the parents.

Also, filters embedded in the computers will keep students off restricted sites.

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