School District in Pennsylvania Helps Students in Need of Technology< < Back to
GIBSONIA, Pa. – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced students to learn online until the schools reopen.
Most families in the Pine-Richland School District have access to the internet, but some students in the district do not have the appropriate technology to learn from home.
“Not everybody had access to a device that would have easily allowed their child to do homework whenever,” Pine-Richland School District Media and Web Services Coordinator Bill Clack said. “Even homes with computers that moms and dads needed to work on from home or grandpa and grandma, whatever the caregiver is. They needed an additional device in some cases.”
The district came up with a clean solution.
The IT department and the district administration at Pine-Richland came up with a plan to organize, sanitize and distribute Chomebooks, the primary computer used throughout all the buildings in the district.
“We did an initial survey just to see what the level of need was,” Pine-Richland superintendent of schools Dr. Brian Miller said. “Then, we organized the distribution.”
Over 1,000 laptops were handed out to families. Over 800 were distributed on March 16 at Eden Hall Upper Elementary School.
Here’s a video created by the Pine-Richland School District:
“They organized them all in one particular location and brainstormed a way to make sure that they could get everything cleaned and handed out according to CDC guidelines,” Clack said.
After all laptops were distributed, the district was ready to return to school “virtually” and is currently in its third week of online learning.
“Our teachers were working behind the scenes to get their curriculum online,” Clack said. “By the time a majority of these Chromebooks were in the hands of everybody who still needed a device of some sort, they were able to hit the ‘digital’ ground running.”
The district is hoping to get students and staff back in the classrooms on May 1. Until then, the district superintendents are making sure learning from online is as effective as possible. The superintendents send out surveys for students, staff and families to fill out each week. In addition, the three superintendents call 42 families in all grade levels to gauge the effectiveness of online learning.
“Because of those two things: the 42 families we’re calling and the surveys we’re doing with students, staff and the parents, we feel that we have a pretty good feel for the pulse of how things are going so far,” Miller said.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday that all schools in the state will remain closed until further notice.
Updates on the district’s status can be found at: https://www.pinerichland.org/