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Free Books, Computer, and Support!


Our premier tech package and proprietary curriculum prepare your student to compete and thrive in today’s world!

At Leadership Academy of Colorado (LACO), technology immersion gives your student clear advantages in our tech-driven economy.

Students who use the Williamsburg Learning program (the program that powers LACO) report having the edge over their peers in technology adoption, ease of college, and preparedness for their careers.

LACO provides all required books, a computer (to be returned at the end of the student's tenure), tech support, and internet filtering.

Note: to get all these benefits, students must enroll full-time (4 classes or more). 

What’s Included

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Books

LACO provides all required books and supplies for your student’s courses.*

Laptop

Students receive a laptop with internet filtering to help keep them safe online.

Tech Support

Also! LACO provides in-home repairs and tech support free of charge!

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Books

LACO provides all books, supplies, and resources for all your student’s courses.

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Laptop

Students receive a laptop with internet filtering to help keep them safe online.

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Tech Support

Also! LACO provides in-home repairs and tech support free of charge!

See below for the full scoop!

 

Books

At LACO, parents are responsible for ordering student books and materials for online classes. LACO covers the cost of required books and supplies every semester. 

*Note: We do not cover the cost of software and subscriptions needed for some courses, e.g., Adobe software applications and magazine subscriptions.

Where to find your student’s book list

Book lists (including supplies) for each semester are published in Student Information Services (SIS(where you register your student)) in mid-June. Each student who registers will have a unique list showing which books and materials they will need for their courses. You can also preview books for each individual course on the Williamsburg Learning website.

How to order books and materials

LACO has partnered with Amazon to provide a streamlined book ordering experience for families. With this partnership, parents can purchase most books and required materials from Amazon and have them billed directly to LACO without any upfront, out-of-pocket expenses.

See our Ordering Books via Amazon page for detailed instructions.

LACO covers the cost of required books and supplies. Parents should plan to order books prior to the start of every semester. Here's how it works:

 

Computer & Technology Package

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Full-time students will receive a laptop computer (to be returned at the end of the student's tenure) with internet filtering and a premium tech package, including in-home tech support and installation—all offered free to the family!

Student Laptop

LACO sudents will be offered this Lenovo laptop computer. It is a high-quality, student laptop with a fast processor. It comes equipped with a camera and microphone so your student is ready for success in the online classroom!

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Internet Filtering

Student laptops will be loaded with a Lightspeed Filter that is designed to keep them safe from inappropriate or illicit online content 24/7. Lightspeed Filter™ is the best-in-class solution that acts as a solid barrier to harmful material to ensure student online safety.

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In-Home Tech Support

Students will also receive in-home tech support! LACO has contracted with a company that will go to each student’s home to make repairs or provide technology assistance onsite at no charge to the family.

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Laptop Handbook and Use Agreement

Note: Students and parents will need to read the LACO Laptop Handbook  and sign the Technology Use Agreement  to receive a laptop.

Families who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch can apply for an Internet Subsidy in SIS.

 

Technology Tools

  1. First and foremost, your student needs a solid Internet connection.

    Download speed no less than 10 MBPS (megabits per second). Quite literally, everything your student will do for classes at LACO is going to involve the Internet. A speedy connection is vital!
  2. Next, they’ll need a dependable computer, which we will provide. If your student wants to use their own computer, they’ll need:

    A PC running Windows 10 or newer and no more than three years old, or a Mac laptop or desktop no more than four years old. For older computers, test it in Zoom to see if it does the job. A link for Zoom testing is provided below.

    Available when you need it. We recommend that you have your own computer. All students need access to a computer for several hours a day (depending on course load), which can be challenging when others need to use the same device.
  3. After that, they’ll need the right software.

    A major web browser. Your browser is your gateway to the Internet. We recommend Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. We do NOT recommend using Internet Explorer or Edge.

    A productivity suite. Students will need a Google account and access to G-suite to complete and submit assignments. For students under 13, please follow the steps found here to set up an account.

    Recent updates. Computer software updates usually include handy bug fixes and security updates that improve your experience and protect your data. Ensure automatic updates are enabled on your operating system, browser(s), and anti-virus software.

    Rosetta Stone. If you’re planning on taking a foreign language course, check your computer against Rosetta Stone’s system requirements here .
  4. For live classes, your student needs a webcam and trusty mic or headset.

    LACO-provided laptops come equipped with a webcam and mic. If using your own computer, you should purchase an inexpensive webcam. Students are expected to have their webcam on during the whole class.

    You can use a built-in mic. Many computers have built-in microphones that work well. However, not every built-in mic is the bee’s knees—some can make your voice sound muffled and staticky. If you do not have a high-quality built-in mic, you should consider buying a headset.

    Or buy a separate headset. When shopping for a headset, we strongly recommend looking for one with built-in echo-canceling. We also recommend a headset, like this , that actually connects to your computer via a cable, rather than a Bluetooth (wireless) headset, to avoid issues with wireless connectivity.
  5. Finally, your student will need a quiet place to use all of these things!

    A distraction-free workspace. Your student’s computer needs to be located in a quiet area, free from visual distractions and ambient noise. These things can distract not only your student but also other students and teachers during class.
 

Technology Skills

What to Expect in Grades 6–8

Middle school students may require technical assistance from a parent during their first weeks at LACO. They will need help if this is their first time using a headset or webcam and microphone, internet browser, site logins, uploading files, receiving email on a near-daily basis, etc. We recommend students take our Typing and Tech Course if they have not yet learned these skills.

What to Expect in Grades 9–12

High school students should have a rudimentary understanding of computers, how to use a browser, how to email, etc. Students are highly encouraged to take our Digital Business Applications class the summer semester before or the fall semester of their first year. Students should know proper typing techniques and be able to type over 30 words per minute to work efficiently. Those lacking these skills should take the Typing and Tech Course or another form of instruction in typing techniques.

Your student needs to be technologically resourceful (hint: Google will be their best friend).

  • Students should know how to find quick answers when they need them. Whether they’re unsure how to copy and paste in Word or convert a Pages document to PDF format, they will need instructions on how to do things with their technology. A quick Google search will usually turn up loads of helpful how-to pages.
  • Seek out ways to simplify things they will often do. Example: They’ll use certain websites, like Canvas (our learning management system), daily. They can bookmark these sites in their web browser, so they don’t have to search each time they need to access them.

They’ll need to be comfortable with a few basics:

  • Organizing files. As each semester progresses, students amass an extensive collection of assignments and other files. It’s essential to start with a sound system of organization, so they aren’t overwhelmed later on. We suggest creating a folder for each semester, with subfolders for each class they take.
  • Downloading and uploading files. They’ll have access to important documents like readings and syllabi that they will need to download and store on their computer. They will also need to upload files to, say, share a slideshow in the online classroom or submit an assignment to their mentor. They should be comfortable with doing these things on their computer.
  • Converting between file types. If they’re using iWork or LibreOffice, they will need to save their files in DOC, DOCX, or ODT format before submitting them (e.g., if they write an essay with Pages, they’ll need to convert it to Word to turn it in). They will also want to know how to save their files in PDF format.

You and your student need to know that it’s okay not to know!

  • Technology issues are inevitable. Every student encounters glitches with technology or makes mistakes from time to time. The most successful students are those who aren’t distressed by tech issues and learn how to prevent them next time. These things come with the territory when attending an online school!

  • There’s no such thing as a dumb question. Don’t feel bad if you or your student cannot find the instructions needed for a tech question through Google or a Help guide. They can always reach out to their peers or mentors if they’re struggling with something specific. Also, check out the support materials below if one of our systems is not working correctly.
 

Technology Systems

It can be intimidating for students who haven’t used our systems before. But don’t worry! They are simple to use. We are available by phone or email if you or your student need extra help getting into SIS or Canvas or registering for classes. If you need help with specific hardware or software (e.g., Microsoft Word, Zoom, etc), please contact the appropriate company support team. See below for in-depth explanations and instructions on the software we use, the hardware required, and support materials if something doesn’t work!

 

Tips for Parents

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  • Though computers provided by LACO will come with filtering software pre-installed, please note that no filtering software is 100% effective. We recommend that parents regularly communicate with students about internet safety, and set rules about the types of websites and content students are allowed to view. The goal is for students to learn to self-govern online because parents cannot always control access.
  • Google’s SafeSearch and many other services offer search options that remove (most) adult content.
  • Communicate with your students about the amount of time and the range of activities your students do online. In general, students should not surf the web or use social media during class or homework hours.

Here are a couple of free resources:


Google BIA Family Guide  – The Be Internet Awesome Family Guide gives families the tools and resources to learn about online safety and citizenship at home.

Safewise Internet Safety Guide  – SafeWise has identified the top online threats to kids and tips for keeping kids safe. Includes link to “The Best Parental Control Apps and Software”.

 

For questions, please contact our Support Team at 800-200-6869 or email support@williamsburglearning.com.