From tiny Melba to the states biggest district, Meridian, about 14,160 high school students across the Treasure Valley will be issued the computers in the fall of 2013.
In all, about 27,000 students one-third of all 9th- through 12-graders in the state will be part of the planned laptop rollout. The other two-thirds of Idaho high-schoolers will get laptops in the following two years or possibly one year, if the Legislature allows statewide implementation to speed up.
Meridian plans to provide the first-year laptops to students at Eagle, Centennial and Renaissance high schools, and to those at its three alternative high schools, Central, Meridian and Eagle academies.
Details on which schools Boise will give laptops to werent available Tuesday.
The Vallivue, Kuna, Melba and Emmett districts will each get enough laptops for students at their traditional and alternative high schools, while Homedale, Middleton and Notus will each have one participating school.
About 84 percent of all Idaho high schools vied for the laptops, so the State Department of Education used a competitive application process that ranked applicants by each region.
Superintendent Tom Luna said the goal of the laptop initiative is to provide equal access to the best educational opportunities for every student no matter where they live.
The advanced classroom technology part of Lunas plan targets $13 million each year for hardware and professional development.
REFORMS TARGETED FOR REPEAL
Laptops are just one part of Idahos Students Come First laws. Under Lunas reforms, Idaho is on track to become the first state in the nation to require high school students to take at least two credits online to graduate.
The laws, which also limit collective bargaining talks and call for merit pay for teachers, were approved by lawmakers in 2011. Critics got a repeal initiative on this Novembers ballot.
The laptops allow small, rural districts equal access to the best educational opportunities that other schools in our region have had for years, said Melba Superintendent Andy Grover. This will allow our students to take classes from other schools, universities, and even other states.
Meridian Superintendent Linda Clark said the initiative will expand student access to the courses offered through the districts Virtual Schoolhouse.
PICKING THE SCHOOLS
Because the state is spreading the available laptop money across the state, large districts such as Meridian and Boise wont be allotted enough laptops in the first year to serve all of their high schools.
Meridians two biggest schools, Rocky Mountain and Mountain View, would need all but a few hundred of the 4,700 total student laptops the district will receive, district spokesman Eric Exline said. So those two schools wont be first in line.
Neither will Meridian High, because a pending reconstruction project cast doubt on whether wireless Internet access would be available.
Were trying to spread it to as many schools as possible, Exline said.
Boise also will receive 4,700 laptops the maximum for any district for up to three high schools, Department of Education spokeswoman Melissa McGrath said.
COMPUTERS FOR TEACHERS
Laptops will be distributed to administrators and teachers throughout every Idaho school district this fall so they can spend the year learning how to integrate the devices into their curriculum before laptops are given to students in fall 2013.
Teachers who receive laptops this fall might have to return the devices if the November repeal referendum succeeds. Thats because the technology and merit-pay funding would likely be redirected into a rainy-day account for public education, state education officials have said.
Plans call for a three-year deployment of laptops across Idaho, with one-third of all public high school students affected each year. Luna said he might ask the Idaho Legislature to shorten that timeline to two years.
Jessie L. Bonner of The Associated Press contributed. Kristin Rodine: 377-6447