West Frankfort schools distribute technology before classes begin

West Frankfort schools distribute technology before classes begin

WEST FRANKFORT (WSIL) — As the beginning of the school year nears for students in West Frankfort, families are gathering the tools they’ll need for remote learning.

Superintendent Matt Donkin says his team fulfilled a part of their game plan Thursday for educating students during a pandemic.

“As we’re going to have either blended learning or remote learning this school year, we had made plans for registration, surveying our parents and families trying to find out what their needs might be, who had internet access, who had equipment that they needed, who might need assistance.”

French teacher and tech coordinator Elizabeth Robinson says the goal of their tech deployment was to get tools in the hands of students, so they can learn this fall.

“A lot of our students did not have that access in the spring, so we are using the tech resources from all of the schools in the district, in order to get our students what they need to begin this remote learning.”

Even though Donkin says they have enough devices for students who have registered so far, more are on their way.

“Part of the CARES grant allowed us to purchase some additional devices. Some we have now, some we’ll have when they come in.”

The devices will go to students who otherwise would have had little to no resources needed for remote learning.

“We kept track of their needs as they did registration, so that we could get them what they need to start and be confident in their learning,” says Robinson.

The tech deployment includes, not only Chromebooks, but mobile hotspots for those with poor or no internet access.

“We think right now that we can handle the need that’s been expressed,” says Donkin.

Robinson notes, “The nice thing about this is that it requires us to evaluate everything we do. If it’s important to learning, then we keep it. If it’s something that was just done because of tradition, we’re letting it go.”

For those who are nervous, Donkin says,”so is our staff. This is new for everybody, and so we’re just going to have to take it one step at a time, and if we run into problems, just make sure we communicate back and forth, and walk each other through step-by-step, and we’ll make it through this year.”

Robinson says if students are anything like her, they’re bound to lose track of that laptop charger, so she reminds them to keep a close eye on it and to not eat or drink around school issued equipment.

Class resumes remotely on Monday, August 24.

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