Student Chromebook Resources for Families

The School District of Philadelphia loans a Chromebook to every District K-12 student.

The loaner program is free, however, all Chromebooks are to be brought to school each day to be used for instruction.  Some schools may choose to not send Chromebooks home each night and instead store them in carts to be made available each day for the students.  Your child’s school will communicate school-specific expectations for Chromebook use.

If you have any questions about your child’s Chromebook or need to obtain a Chromebook for your child, please reach out to your child’s school. To have your Chromebook repaired, visit one of our Technology Support Centers listed below.

Chromebook Help & Resources

Hours:
– Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
– Wednesdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Parent & Family Technology Support Hotline
Support for parents and students to help you get your District-issued devices up and running, and to address more basic technical issues with broken or malfunctioning computers.
T: 215-400-4444
E: FamilyTechSupport@philasd.org

Only students from Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade who are currently enrolled in a District-led school are eligible for this loaner program. Charter School families should contact their charter school for details about how/if their school is making devices available.

Students who leave a School District of Philadelphia school and enroll in a charter school, private school,  parochial school, or students who move out of Philadelphia and enroll in another district MUST return their device to their last School District of Philadelphia school or a Family Technology Support Center.

When a student who received a Chromebook from a School District of Philadelphia school transfers to or enrolls in another School District of Philadelphia school, the student must bring their assigned device with them to their new school.

As a reminder, charter schools, parochial schools, and private schools in Philadelphia are not a part of the School District of PhiladelphiaStudents enrolling in these types of schools must return their Chromebook to their previous School District of Philadelphia school or to a Family Technology Support Center.

A Chromebook needs to be returned to your child’s school or a Family Technology Support Center if one or more of the following are true.

  • A student leaves a School District of Philadelphia school and enrolls in a charter school, private school, or parochial school
  • A student moves out of Philadelphia and enrolls in a school outside of the School District of Philadelphia
  • The Chromebook is damaged or not working
  • A student’s school requests that the device be returned

Please note that Chromebooks that are allowed to be taken home each night must be brought to school daily to be used for classroom learning. Some schools may opt to have students leave their assigned Chromebook in the classroom each night.

Chromebooks are a great learning tool that give both teachers and students access to a wide variety of tools to help students engage in learning inside and outside of the classroom.  It is important to do our best to keep them safe so that they are working and available when needed.  The following are best practices for keeping your child’s Chromebook safe.

  • Do not remove any protective cases installed on a Chromebook.  These add extra protection in case it is dropped, bumped, etc.
  • Only use the Chromebook when sitting or lying down to decrease the risk of it dropping.
  • When walking with the Chromebook, make sure it is closed and hold it with two hands.
  • When a Chromebook is in a backpack, do not throw, sit on, or step on the backpack. Backpacks with Chromebooks inside should be stored off of the floor or in an area where walking does not occur.  Students wearing backpacks should avoid abruptly backing up into walls or bumping hard items with their backpacks when possible.
  • Do not place anything on a Chromebook’s keyboard. Closing a Chromebook with pencils, pens, or other hard objects on the keyboard can break the keyboard’s screen.
  • Avoid eating or drinking near the Chromebooks.  Food and drink spills can damage a Chromebook or cause keys to stick and stop working.
  • Always use the closest available outlet when charging your Chromebook while in use.  Charging cables that cross areas where people walk can be tripped over and cause damage to the charger or cause the Chromebook to fall and break.
  • Do not leave the Chromebook unattended when outside of your home.
  • When traveling on buses or trains, make sure to have your Chromebook on you at all times. Make sure to take it with you when you depart the bus or train.

Information about no-cost or low-cost internet access is available – Click Here

A WiFi network is the backbone of modern households. Today, with so many families learning and working from home, it’s more important than ever to understand your home WiFi network. Our local “WiFi Doctor,” Comcast Senior Technical Operations Manager Ken Sedberry, shares five simple tips to help families improve the health of their home WiFi network, ensuring students can rock remote learning this school year:

  • Tip #1: Place your Gateway or router in the center of your home. It’s best to choose a centralized location, ideally in the room where you use your devices most (avoid the basement, garage or far corner of your home). And, check that the cables are tight! A loose connection can have a big impact on the performance of your network.
  • Tip #2: Make sure your Gateway or router is in an open area, clear of obstructions. Appliances, water sources, wireless electronics or being hidden in a cabinet are examples of obstructions that can interfere with your connection.
  • Tip #3: Be aware of activities that draw more bandwidth – conferencing (via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.), video streaming and gaming draw more bandwidth. Look at the bandwidth for your internet package and whether it’s sufficient for your needs. Consider pausing gaming or streaming while others in the household are on important video calls. You can also hardwire devices to the Gateway or router to ensure a strong and steady connection.
  • Tip #4: The device can make the difference! Test devices in different parts of the home. Many school-issued computers may need to be used in the same room as the Gateway or router. Also, older devices can only process so much speed, no matter how fast your internet or router speed is.
  • Tip #5: Utilize the Xfinity xFi app to run speed tests, and monitor your home WiFi network – in addition to having visibility into the speeds your experiencing on specific devices, the xFi app allows parents to pause devices, set screen time limits for kids and see what devices are connected to your home WiFi network.

To learn more about these and other tips, click here.

Parent & Family Technology Support Centers

Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Locations

  • Fitzpatrick Annex Building
    (rear of Fitzpatrick Elementary School)
    4101 Chalfont Drive, Philadelphia PA 19154
  • Martin Luther King High School
    (parking lot entrance on Haines Street)
    6100 Stenton Avenue; Philadelphia, PA 19138
  • South Philadelphia High School
    (entrance on 13th St.- press the buzzer)
    2101 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148

Important Reminders:

  • Students are expected to bring their District-issued Chromebook to school each day.
  • All protective cases must remain on the Chromebook and should not be removed except by a repair technician or other designated District staff.
  • Families must immediately report any damage, loss, or theft to their child’s school.