Students Asked to Return Laptops Due to Safety Concerns

Students Asked to Return Laptops Due to Safety Concerns
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October 7, 2016 – Some Amarillo ISD high school students were asked Friday to immediately return certain District-issued Chromebooks to school administrators after some safety concerns arose.

In the past week, three Acer 720P Chromebooks have caught on fire. Thankfully, no one was hurt and damage was contained to the cases the devices were located in. The problem is not related to all Chromebooks in use in the District, just the touchscreen versions.

District administrators determined it is in the best interest of student safety to collect all of the touchscreen Chromebooks. Students have been asked to return them today, said AISD Chief Technology Officer Jeff Roller. “We made the difficult decision to take back the Chromebooks out of concern for our students’ safety. We have returned all three burned units to the manufacturer. Acer is very aware of the situation, and they will advise a course of action once the final determination has been made.”

The Acer touchscreen Chromebooks were issued to approximately 4,000 AISD students. The count includes all students at Palo Duro High School, primarily the freshmen and sophomore classes at Amarillo High School, and approximately 800 students at Tascosa High School. 

Roller said the number of student devices is large because integrating technology is a priority for AISD, particularly with the District’s work on the Profile of a Graduate initiative to develop 21st century learners. “Technology is a vital component for all of our students in every grade. What we have to do now is work with Acer to address this serious issue, and at the same time, determine what our next steps will be so that we can minimize the interruption to our classrooms.”

If for some reason a student’s Chromebook is not returned at school today, they should make sure the computer is completely powered down, not use the device again, and return it to school on Tuesday, because Monday is a school holiday. Instructions on properly powering down the computer have been posted to the three high schools' websites.

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