Due to a national shortage of Chromebooks, several students in North Carolina school districts are still waiting on their devices. Classes began virtually in many districts on August 17 in North Carolina, despite this technology shortage.
“Not being able to attend school for the whole first week of school is kind of an injustice for those kids,” said Camille Brown, a Wake County parent.
Brown’s 10-year-old son started remote learning on Monday, and he’s still waiting for a Chromebook. He hasn’t been able to get much learning done.
“I think we’ll get into a rhythm, but if kids don’t have the technology,” Brown said, “it doesn’t matter what the teachers and administrators are doing and how great they’re being if the county isn’t providing access to the work teachers are putting together.”
Out of the more than 160,000 students in the Wake County Public Schools System, over 45,000 of them requested Chromebooks. The number of students still waiting on a device is unknown. A spokesperson for the district said they’ll have a better idea next week.
About half of the district opted-in to the Virtual Academy — which is about 79,000 students, according to the last update from the district. Students that choose to be in the Virtual Academy will be online for either the rest of the semester or the entire year. Students that don’t opt-in to the district’s Virtual Academy will be back in the classroom for a hybrid learning plan sometime after October 22, according to the most recent update from the school.
Durham Public Schools and Harnett County Schools have also not received all the Chromebooks for students.
“The county has done absolutely the best they can do given the circumstances and the time frame,” one parent in Wake County, Lauren Fuchs, said. “It’s only been a few weeks since they made this decision.”Fuchs has four children in the Wake County Public School System. Only two of them have iPads at home. The other two are still waiting on Chromebooks.
In Guilford County Schools, Five thousand students are starting the school year online without Chromebooks, according to the superintendent of district. Officials are waiting for a shipment of nearly 80,000 chromebooks to come in.
That shipment won’t come in until sometime in November, said Sharon Contreras, superintendent Guilford County Schools.
Contreras was asking the community to donate technology and cash to the school to help make sure students had access to all the technology they needed for the start of school on her Twitter account.
More than 2,000 students did not login to class in the Spring in Guilford County Schools. That’s 4% of the students in the district, education officials said.
In the spring, education officials said that more than 80% of students were engaged with lessons regularly. School counselors and social workers reached out to students who never logged on and are still reaching out to them now that the fall semester has begun.
GCS said that printed lessons printed lessons, curriculum materials and assignments in other formats were also being provided, but parents have to request access to this if they need it.