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Message from Wicomico Schools on Device Requests for Virtual Learning

 

Technology team preparing wifi hotspots for distribution

Wicomico County Public Schools is looking forward to the opening of the 2020-2021 school year on Tuesday, Sept. 8th, and has already put technology into the hands of most students so they will be ready for virtual learning. Schools are continuing to issue laptops and hotspots to families as supplies become available. Families who have not yet received devices should check in with their school or schools, as the school system receives more deliveries of devices almost daily, and promptly sends them out to schools so the schools can distribute them to families.

Back in March when Wicomico County Public Schools transitioned to distance learning, Wicomico’s more than 15,000 students did not have school-issued laptops. Thousands of devices were harvested from school laptop carts and converted for home use, and many more laptops were ordered in late spring. School system funding from the state and county and federal CARES money supported the purchase of more technology for student use during distance learning and in the future, when students return to school buildings but technology is still a key tool for learning. Thanks to the quick action of Technology staff in the spring, Wicomico has received most of the devices it ordered, while school systems that placed orders later are still waiting for devices to be shipped in late September or even October.

We are committed to getting a device into the hands of every student, because every student’s education is important. During the summer our schools asked parents to inform the school if a student would need a laptop or assistance in connecting to the internet, and then planned accordingly for device distribution. We had enough resources to fulfill the requests received from earlier in the summer. Now, with new requests coming in daily, the initial reserves of devices are depleted. The schools and school system are awaiting additional deliveries to fill new technology requests.

If your student needs a laptop and has yet to receive one, please check in with your student’s school to make sure your student’s name is on its list. Families who need help connecting to the internet should explore Comcast Internet Essentials for low-cost service, or another internet service provider. For families who cannot connect to an internet service provider at their home, a wifi hotspot may be a solution and should be requested from one of the schools serving the family (no more than one hotspot per household).

WCPS is committed to providing every student with a device to access virtual learning, and is continually working to make that happen for the start of the school year next week. We appreciate everyone’s patience, persistence and understanding, and we assure our families that we will work with you during this time.