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West High School Working Toward Chromebooks for All

West High School, Knoxville and East Tennessee’s only International Baccalaureate (IB) high school, is working to become a “one to one” school by placing a Chromebook computer in the hands of every student and teacher by January 2017. All seniors in the school received their computers in early October; the remaining classes will get theirs when the final $150,000 needed to fund the project is raised.

One to one is an international movement in K12 education, and research has shown that, when implemented property, it can significantly enhance teaching and expand learning. Several other schools in the district are already one to one, including: Bearden High, Fulton High, South Doyle High, and L&N STEM Academy, as well as Bearden and West Valley Middle Schools, the two primary feeders to West.

West’s new principal Ashley Jessie, who previously worked at Holston Middle, said, “I saw firsthand the impact one to one has on instruction and academic success. With regard to the state score that measures student growth, students at Holston went from a 1 (the lowest score) to a 5 (the highest score) and remained there for the next three years after instituting one to one at the school.”
Almost half of West’s student body is on the free and reduced lunch program, and many do not have computers at home or access to them elsewhere. Placing a computer in the hands of every student allows the administration to help diminish both economic and social disparities, while improving learning for all students.

Google Chromebooks became the computer of choice for the one to one project because of their durability, cutting-edge educational software and affordability. Further, the computers have a unified platform that allows content and Internet access to be controlled by school administration. Chromebooks can also be automatically updated from the Cloud, saving money on software upgrades.
The budget for this project is approximately $870,000, which includes $355,000 for computer equipment; $445,000 for training and tech personnel; $30,000 for software and $40,000 for unexpected costs. Through the generosity of Knox County Schools, the Haslam family and Pilot Flying J, West High School Foundation, West High Parent Teacher Student Organization and private donors, more than $720,000 has already been raised towards this tremendous goal.

One to one campaign donations, which are tax deductible, can be made to the West High Foundation by Dec.15 online ( by mailing a check made out to WHS Foundation to P. O. Box 10321, Knoxville, TN 37939. Donors will be recognized in special ways at West, including a new West Walk of Pride that will feature engraved bricks of various sizes.

For more information regarding the one to one project or making donations, please contact West High Foundation President Jed Diamond at (865) 742-8667.