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RCSD handing out Chromebooks to students to help with remote learning

Patrick Moussignac
Created: April 06, 2020 07:05 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — COVID-19 may have stopped students from attending their classes, but it hasn't stopped the learning process. 

Monday morning the Rochester City School District started providing students with Chromebook tablets so they can keep up with school work at home. News10NBC was at Edison Tech as parents picked up tablets for their children. 

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For the next two weeks, the district is giving primarily their sixth through eighth grade students an opportunity to pick up their school-issued Chromebook tablets. 

Schools in the state are now expected to remain closed until at least April 29.

Glen Van Derwater, the district's Chief Technology Officer says the district decided to do this to give students continued access to educational resources that are needed for online distance learning.

"We're trying to provide equity of access here for our students that don't have access, or a device at home," Van Derwater said. "This will provide an opportunity for them to have one."

Van Derwater says the pick-up process is easy. Parents call the district's main number, provide their child's information, then drive to Edison Career and Technology High School where they will once again confirm their child's information before proceeding to the next station to pick-up their tablet. 

Parents like Tasha Morrison of Rochester appreciate what the district is doing.

"I think it’s great because you know when you have more than one child, and you got one home computer you know they all have time, allotted times so it’s good that they're giving out the tablets so that we can use them," Morrison said.

Victor Castro, another Rochester resident, agrees as he picked one up for his child. "He's going to actually start now so that's why we're signing, getting the Chromebook and proceed with the learning and see how it goes from there," Castro said.

Van Derwater says students who are picking up their Chromebooks are no further behind other students who have computers, or internet access at home.

"There's also instructional apps that students were using in their classrooms. They would go to our ‘rochnet’ which is a single sign-on portal where students would click on the software icon that applies to them," Van Derwater said.

It's another way the district is helping students while they're on break from their classrooms. 

The district has enough Chromebook tablets for up to 5,000 sixth through eighth grade students. 

Parents need to call the district to schedule a time to pick one up. Next week these tablets can be picked up at the school's Douglass campus on Fernwood Park.


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