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Computing Equipment Donation Acceptance Policy

Computing Equipment Donation Acceptance Policy

Like most school districts, The School District of Philadelphia receives offers from individuals and organizations of donations of both new and used technology equipment, such as, computers, monitors, printers, etc. The District has created a policy to provide guidance to both prospective donators and schools.

Though sincerely appreciative of the intent, the District recognizes that inherent in the acceptance of new or used equipment, it becomes the District’s responsibility and expense to ensure the usability and sustainability of said equipment, including performing hardware repairs, purchasing peripherals, (i.e. keyboards, mice, etc.), computer software imaging, and ensuring software licensing, prior to the equipment reaching a school.

Over the last several years, the District has invested significant resources, time, money and energy, into standardizing technology specifications across the District. Acceptance of used, donated equipment substantially dilutes our ability to provide timely and effective service to approved district technology.

Used Equipment

In the case of used equipment, it generally does not provide our schools the same useful life, the ability to perform some of the instructional tasks, or run some of the learning programs that newer operating systems and more memory-capable and faster machines can handle.

The expense of keeping this out-of-warranty equipment in perfect running order for even one or two years, in most cases, far exceeds the original value of the donation. Finally, the District also becomes liable for the expense and proper disposal of said equipment in both the case of new and used computing equipment.

Policy and procedural guidelines have been established for the donation of used computing equipment to benefit both the schools and the community.

The guidelines are as follows:

  1. With the exception noted below, no District organization (office or school) may accept any donations of used technology equipment. The District does not have the financial or human resources necessary to support this equipment. These machines are also often found to be incompatible with the schools’ instructional needs.
  2. Subject to approval by the Executive Director of the Office of Career and Technical Education, schools with approved Information Technology Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that are offered donations may accept donations of used computer equipment expressly for the purpose of hands-on break-fix repair instruction IF the machines meets both the minimum hardware specifications (see FAQ) and are compatible to the CTE Program curriculum. 
  3. District organizations (schools/offices) that disregard this recommendation and do accept donated, used computer equipment, assume the financial responsibility for the following:          
    1. Ensuring that said equipment reaches their premise(s) in working conditions with legal software licensing
    2. Providing technical support to keep said equipment and software licensing in working order and legally compliant
    3. Environmentally acceptable disposal of said equipment, should it not be capable of being brought up to legal working order or having reached its end-of-life working condition

New Equipment

The donation of new computing equipment (e.g. laptops, desktops, printers) must be approved by the Office of Educational Technology to ensure compatibility with the District’s technology environment. Not all ‘new’ equipment will be deemed compatible with the District’s environment. Depending on the value of the donation, subject to SRC policy, a resolution to accept the donation may be required.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What are the minimum hardware specifications for donated equipment that may be accepted by approved Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs?
    • Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor, 2.13GHz
    • 2 GB of RAM
    • 160 GB Hard drive
    • CD-RW or DVD optical drive
    • Graphics device DirectX 9 complaint (preferred)
    • LCD or Flat panel monitors ONLY (No CRT monitors)
  2. Which schools have an approved Information Technology CTE program that may accept donated computer equipment?
    • Thomas Edison High School
    • South Philadelphia High School
    • Swenson Arts and Technology High School