ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Thousands of students in Albemarle County are taking home new laptops Wednesday after the first day of school.

The massive technology rollout is the classroom piece of a project to improve digital learning. The other part of the project is outside and underground.

Albemarle County Public Schools are creating their own Internet network. Fiber optic cables will connect campuses to the high-speed Internet. Crews installed about 10 miles of fiber optic cables this summer to connect 13 schools and administrative offices. The project will run 110 miles across the county.

Albemarle middle and high schools are adding 3,800 laptops to that network.

Students at Jack Jouett Middle School received laptops Wednesday, along with a lesson on appropriate computer care and use.

“If they don't have capability at home, at least we can ensure they have excellent capabilities within our schools. That's what we want to be able to do,” said Vince Scheivery, Albemarle County Public Schools chief information officer.

“The kids are writing and reading on the computers. So, things they're going to enter the adult world needing to know, we're able to prep them from an early age for,” said Allison Starks, Jack Jouett tech lead.

Every student at Jack Jouett now has a laptop computer. The school system will continue to roll out laptops each year.

The fiber optic installation is a multi-million-dollar project to take place over the next five years.