DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Public Schools will begin issuing laptops, internet hot spots and other technology beginning Wednesday, as the district prepares for remote learning beginning April 7.
The district is preparing for weeks, if not months, of remote learning amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
“We know it won’t be at least until April 20,” said Deputy Superintendent of Operations Mark Ferrandino. “We’re doing this knowing it probably will go longer.”
Laptops, chargers and hot spots will be sanitized by school staff at drop-off sites.
DPS is asking parents to remain in vehicles if possible, and to pop their trunks when possible for a smooth drop-off.
“We’re wiping down all the devices and cords, we’re making sure that our employees are using gloves and we’re encouraging people to do drive-up,” sais Ferrandino.
Mayor Michael Hancock’s stay-at-home order does allow for parents to visit distribution sites.
The district has been collecting survey results from parents asking who has access to computers and to the internet.
Ferrandino says those results indicate roughly 20,000 Denver students do not have access to one or the other.
“We need to make sure families that don’t have technology have the ability to have it at home so they can do remote learning,” he said.
The district recently purchased 3,500 hotspots to help families without internet access perform remote learning, according to Ferrandino.
“This is stressful for everyone, both adults and kids,” he said.
Denver School Board Director at large Tay Anderson says he’s been reassuring parents that remote learning will be feasible and that help is available.
“I’ve heard from parents that are like, ‘I’m losing my mind because now I have to play mom, or dad, and play teacher for eight hours a day,'” Anderson said. “I want parents to understand we still have mental health resources available in DPS. We still have free lunch and breakfast for any student.”
The technology distribution will happen Wednesday through Friday. Check with your child’s school for specifics on timing.