The schools deployed iPads and hotspots to families, lowering the number without access to 125 in less than two weeks.
According to a district survey from March, more than 2,000 children did not have a computer or tablet or internet connection — about 17% of Appoquinimink School District students. At-home learning started March 30, but online access was still a problem for many. Now, the district has given access to more than 1,500 students.
Superintendent Matt Burrows said during the April 9 online Appoquinimink Board of Education meeting the schools deployed iPads and hotspots to families, lowering the number without access to 125 in less than two weeks.
“We are looking to make that number smaller every day,” he said.
iPad pickups took place from March 26 to April 7 for kindergarten through fifth graders. The district handed out more than 250 iPads at the first deployment day March 26. Sixth through 12th graders have been using them for in-person classroom learning and homework.
Kalia Reynolds, executive director of teaching and learning, said this is a major milestone for making remote learning a smoother transition.
“It’s remarkable this has been able to happen in less than two weeks,” she said.
Burrows said they ordered hotspots from their broadband partners, which were sent to families who don’t have wi-fi or have poor connectivity at home.
Gov. John Carney closed schools until May 15 on March 23, 11 days after announcing schools would close for two weeks. Since the first announcement, Burrows said, they have been planning for long-term remote learning.
The district is not done. Burrows said 125 students still don’t have online access, so families are using activity packets until they can get them online with the other 11,000 students.
Board member Charlisa Edelin said getting 99% of students online would take years for some schools, but praised the teaching and learning committee for getting it done in less than a month.
“This is the best situation we could be in during this time,” she said.