Approximately 2,500 additional Chromebooks are being distributed to students in Grades 2-4 this week, allowing the school division to further expand an Anytime, Anywhere Learning laptop take-home program that already is believed to be one of the largest in the country.
By next week, nearly 40,000 Chromebooks will be available to be used at home by students while school buildings are closed due to COVID-19.
In addition, thanks to financial donations from local philanthropic organizations to the Chesterfield Education Foundation, Chesterfield County Public Schools soon will provide hundreds of hotspot devices to support families currently without access to the Internet at home.
“The digital divide remains a real concern, so we continue to look for remedies to support families who need additional resources as we navigate this distance learning experience together,” Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said. “We appreciate the ongoing generosity of our local philanthropic community as to break down barriers to equity in educational opportunities. While in-person instruction has stopped, we are working to make sure that learning continues.”
Chesterfield County Public Schools families with students in Grades 2-4 were eligible to receive a Chromebook to use during the rest of the school closure if they did not have an electronic device already available for their students to use. The additional Chromebooks recently were disconnected from hard- wired charging stations in classrooms throughout the county.
“We appreciate the work of our Technology team has undertaken to meet the needs of our students,” Daugherty said. “We all realize that these devices are better served helping students access online learning opportunities in their homes, as opposed to be stored in schools until September.”
Since in-person teaching and learning stopped March 12 due to the COVID-19 disease, Chesterfield County Public Schools has offered review and advancement instructional materials to students online via the school division’s learning management system and other recognized and support open educational resources. (Packet pickup and mail delivery of instructional packets has been available to families as well.)