Coronavirus: Pinellas schools to hand out laptops to students in need

Coronavirus

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – School districts are shifting to online learning to make sure no child gets left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florida remains under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic is forcing schools to close and move to an online format to continue students curriculums.

In Pinellas County, 15,000 to 20,000 students don’t have access to computers or tablets, and wouldn’t be able to complete the coursework, school officials say. So, on Tuesday, district officials will be passing out laptops and tablets to families in need.

Starting Tuesday morning, parents can go to their child’s school and pick up a bag of digital materials.

The district tells 8 On Your Side that the school principal will notify parents what time they should come pick up their materials. The parents will need some form of identification.

Hillsborough County Schools began passing out laptops and tablets to families in need earlier this week. Teachers also began creating online lesson plans and talking to students virtually. However, the new measures haven’t been smooth sailing. Some teachers and families say they have had technical difficulties due to the sheer amount of people utilizing the online portals. Both districts will spend this week working out any kinks.

Spectrum is also helping with this process.

The company is offering free WiFi for students and teachers for up to 60 days. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. All installation fees will be waived for new student and teacher households. Wi-Fi hotspots across Spectrum’s footprint will also be available for public use.

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