By: Sharon Aron Baron
Prompted by the coronavirus, Broward County Public Schools distributed over 82,000 computer devices over two days to parents and guardians to support remote learning during school closures.
According to the District, the computer distribution adhered to safety guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and BCPS staff were equipped with protective gloves and masks. Parents were also urged to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.
One parent named Angie thought Coral Glades High School did a phenomenal job distributing hundreds of laptops.
“Only 10-15 cars in at a time. Those who thought parking and walking in would “cut” had a wake-up call to wait standing off to the side in the sun and were let in same as cars. Needless to say, almost everyone was in their cars. Very streamlined and orderly.”
Carrie said, “I saw the parking lot full at Maplewood Elementary in Coral Springs on Friday and wondered how they were handling that many people. This should have been thought out better by the school board.”
Another parent named Lisa decided it was just better to invest in a laptop for her daughter.
“We went and got our daughter, a freshman at Coral Springs High, a new one because we wanted her to be able to keep up properly. Was not money we really had to spend right now, but in the end, it’s worth it.”
The laptops and tablets are part of the District’s efforts to ensure all students have access to online learning, which begins Monday, March 30.
On Saturday, parents and guardians went to middle and high schools across the District, starting at 8 a.m., completed necessary documentation, and left with tablets and laptops on loan for their children.
“I want to thank our staff for supporting our students and families, and our parents for their patience during this challenging time,” said Superintendent Robert Runcie. “Thank you to our entire Broward community for continuing to come together with us to help us continue to make education available to all our students.”
The District’s information technology staff was on hand to ensure students’ connectivity into the learning platform and disinfected the devices as a proactive measure. Law enforcement was at each campus.