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Why did the district buy Chromebooks instead of laptops or iPads?
Chromebooks are inexpensive, easy to use, easy to manage. Laptops and iPads are expensive and hard to manage . Read more about the choice of Chromebooks and Google Apps here

Can a student bring use his/her own laptop instead of participating in the Take Home Chromebook program?
Absolutely. So long as the student brings in his/her laptop everyday and it is fully charged, they are welcome to use it instead of a Chromebook. If the laptop has the Chrome browser installed, they should be able to do everything with their laptop that the other students are doing with their Chromebooks. However, please be aware that while our school IT staffs are prepared to service the district-owned Chromebooks, they will not be able to service a student's personal laptop.

I heard you can only use a Chromebook when it is connected to the internet. Is that true?
Yes and No. Most of the things we do these days are online, so even a tablet or Windows computer needs a network connection. However, a lot of things can be done on a Chromebook even when offline. This is great for backup plans when the network is down.
Enable offline use of Drive/Docs: https://support.google.com/drive/topic/1628465
https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/2809731
Some other webapps also work offline: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/collection/offline_enabled

What if I am leaving the district (new job, retiring, graduated)? What happens to my Google account and files?
Your account will be deleted after a certain amount of time. You can copy all of your data to a personal Google account. Here are instructions on how to do it:
http://lifehacker.com/5934343/how-can-i-migrate-my-google-data-from-one-account-to-another