Addressing the challenge of providing technology, internet access to CCSD students

Addressing the challenge of providing technology, internet access to CCSD students

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An essential part of distance learning is having the right technology. The Clark County School District is scrambling to provide Chromebooks and internet access to all students.

“When the schools shut down in March, about half of my students didn’t have access to internet at home or a computer,” said parent and teacher Jami Anderson.

Anderson recalls the struggles she and her students faced last school year. In addition to her classroom, she’s now trying to plan out how her three kids will share two devices.

“I”m going to have to have one kid do their work first, and then one is going to have to sit out and rotate in,” Anderson explained. “I think it’s going to take a lot more time to get that work done, and I’m worried about them falling behind.”

Many families now face the same issue, as they wait for guidance from CCSD.

This week, the District said it would not have all of the Chromebooks by the start of school. They’ve ordered an additional 44,000 but are having supply chain issues.

“Every school district in the country is looking to get devices into the hands of kids right now,” said Kirsten Searer, president of the Public Education Foundation. “A lot of these devices are made overseas, and their production may have been suspended for some time.”

Searer says their partners are looking into how they can help CCSD in this race against time.

“Not only how do we get Chromebooks and devices, but how do we get internet access to students as quickly as possible.”

In the meantime, the District will be giving out devices from the current inventory in schools, as well as the 11,000 available from the District. These will initially go to students who need it most.

Eventually, CCSD wants to ensure every student has a device of their own.

We reached out the District to see how many students need a Chromebook. They could not answer that right now.

CCSD estimates around 40% of students will need assistance accessing the internet. Cox Communications is offering a low-cost internet plan for some families at around $10/month.

If you don’t qualify, the District says it will provide Hotspots.

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