Greater Albany Public Schools is trying to make sure all students from kindergarten through 12th grade have their own computer with which to take part in the online distance learning the district will offer this fall. I wondered about one part of the cost, and I got an answer today.
“In regards to technology,” GAPS spokesman Andrew Tomsky told me: “In order to ensure we have sufficient devices to provide to students for Comprehensive Distance Learning we are using various funding sources to procure 2,900 Chromebook devices at a cost of $580,000 (to augment the Chromebooks we already had in the district).”
Every school district in Oregon presumably is doing the same thing. So let’s hope the supply of these little laptops is big enough to meet the demand.
The school district has set up a Chromebook distribution schedule. For elementary and middle schools, the distribution points are the middle schools and Timber Ridge. The high schools have a separate schedule. The district published the details on its website here.
And it looks like the attempt to teach children long-distance via computers will last longer than anybody wants. Gov. Kate Brown said today that based on current trends with the coronavirus pandemic, schools may not be allowed to reopen in the regular way before April.
This is very bad news for many children and their families. In lost time and opportunities as well as dollars, the cost is hard to estimate but no doubt huge. Compared to that, the cost of GAPS buying a truckload of Chromebooks is not much. (hh)