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Delayed LCS laptops calls for backup plan

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 9:23 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The countdown to school is on in Leon County, but a key tool is still unavailable. More than 32,000 Chromebooks promised to arrive for the start of school are now delayed.

While it is not known when they will get here, there is a plan in place; but it is not one that every parent is sold on.

Right now, the district has compiled about 20,000 desktops and laptops to be at-the-ready for students. But parents, like KaShauna Davis, who have multiple children, are not completely sold on the backup plan, “That is definitely a big concern for me.”

The mother of seven has her hands full: Davis is now worried about whether or not all of her children will get a device, being that the district is short about 10,000 devices.

Davis shares, “My kids all attend a Title I school, so we are dealing with parents who do not have the financial resources to be able to even provide a tablet for their kid.”

But Superintendent Rocky Hanna is not asking for parents to purchase, but rather BYOD (Bring your own device).

He hopes that one-third of district families will opt out of a device if they already have one at home.

“If they can help us through the first weeks of the school year, that will put a little less pressure on us,” Hanna said.

Families like Davis’ have a computer for her work, but none for her kids.

“The older ones kind of understand it and know how to take care of it,” Davis explained, “But the younger ones they don’t understand the value of ‘I have a laptop I need to do my work.‘”

She furthers, “I kind of get scared they may mess up some stuff for my business, and I may lose some information that I need.”

So what is the plan?

Desktops will be given to virtual students next week, and laptops for those attending brick and mortar. But for the Davis’, this is not ideal.

With a chuckle, Davis states, “Seven desktops, there would be no space in my house for that.”

But Superintendent Hanna assures that it is not a permanent decision, just one that needs to be done, for now.

“We need your help to get us over the hump and once we get over the hump,” he said. “All 32,000 kids will have a device and we won’t need to do this any longer.”

Next week, the distribution of the desktops will begin for virtual students. Phone calls will be made to families to see who can decline a new device.

Again, no date has been set on the arrival for the Chromebooks, but Hanna did say he is hoping they get here by the middle of the semester.

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