Instead of flipping through pages and lugging books in their backpacks, the sixth-graders at the Trinity Lutheran School will get clicking on a different type of textbook in the coming year.

This fall, each incoming sixth-grader at the Joppa private school will get a new laptop, eliminating the need for textbooks in three core subjects - science, math and social studies.

"One advantage to middle-schoolers is that it's a big reduction in their backpack," said headmaster John Austin. "Now they get a laptop with a textbook online."

Most of the students in the cafeteria on a school day drag their backpacks, which have


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