Southern Kern Unified School District Protects Students and Secures Laptops with Absolute
The Southern Kern Unified School District (SKUSD), based in Rosamond, California, runs five schools: two elementary, one middle school, one high school, and two alternative programs—one to support independent study (home-school), and one to help students from grades 9 to 12 who have fallen behind in the conventional high school program. SKUSD serves more than 3,200 students.
The School Accountability Report Cards for SKUSD indicate that approximately 74% of students are socioeconomically disadvantaged, and that the middle school suspension rate for kids aged 11 to 12 is more than double the state average. To provide the highest quality of education possible for their students, in 2014 SKUSD invested in laptops
for each middle school student, and for every high school student in 2015. As noted by educators across North America, use of laptops and a digital curriculum by students in elementary through high school motivates students, provides interactive learning, allows faster, more comprehensive research, and speeds up written output.
Faced with 650 laptops in circulation in 2014 among pre-teens, and another 650 planned for high school students in 2015, the IT department at SKUSD needed a way to prevent the theft of laptops. Not only did a stolen laptop represent a lost investment, it also meant a student’s progress would be hampered.
“We wanted a good theft deterrent and recovery solution,” recalls Wexler. “We evaluated both Stop Theft and Absolute.”
Wexler recalls: “We felt that Absolute was the best solution because Persistence technology would ensure that the agent would reinstall itself if a hard drive was removed or wiped clean.”
Absolute was easily deployed through group policies in just a few hours.
“If I need to know anything, I just log into the Absolute Customer Center. For each laptop, I can see where it is, the user name, including whether or not it’s changed, and which programs are installed,” says Wexler. SKUSD has also benefited from the Absolute Safe Schools program. The program teaches students and staff how to avoid becoming easy targets for criminals as well as best practices for the care and security of their laptops. Recalls Wexler, “Two Absolute staff did training for our middle school students, then another session at a Town Hall meeting with families present. They educated students on keeping laptops safe, and informed the community that the laptops were marked, protected, and that stealing them would be a bad idea.”
“The fact that I get personal contact with a member of the Absolute Investigations team sets the Absolute solution apart from the competition. I know the devices are protected, the students are educated on safe use, and if a device is stolen, the Absolute Investigations team will work with local law enforcement to get it back.”
Every laptop has a “Protected by Absolute Safe Schools” sticker. Posters showing how laptops are protected are on display in schools and in the community.