Philly Students Begin School Year Online but Not Every Child Has Laptop They Need

Not every student has received a working Chromebook as the Philadelphia School District begins classes online amid coronavirus

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What to Know

  • Around 125,000 students in the Philadelphia School District began virtual learning Wednesday.
  • The school district has been attempting to get working Chromebooks to students ahead of the first day of school, but some parents said they had yet to get the laptops.
  • Amid coronavirus, school in Philadelphia will be virtual until at least mid November.

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A school year like none other gets underway in Philadelphia Wednesday with not every student having the tools they need to learn.

It’s the first day of school for around 125,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. And, all classes are being held online to start the school year due to coronavirus concerns. The school year is planned to be all virtual until at least mid-November.

Even with classes online, students in the Philadelphia School District are still excited for the start of the school year. NBC10's Miguel Martinez-Valle talks about what is different as school resumes virtually amid coronavirus.

In an attempt to close the digital divide, the district has been handing out tens of thousands of Chromebooks to families and students to learn with from home. But, long lines at the administration building on Tuesday left parents and students frustrated and without the needed laptops.

The district says there are enough computers for all students and suggested families designate a trusted family member to wait for the Chromebook if they can’t make it.

There are three locations where Chromebooks could be picked up.

People already were lined up Wednesday morning to grab a laptop or get their laptops fixed. The lines wrapped around the Philadelphia School District building and Martin Luther King High School.

In the meantime, the district suggested that students without a computer use a cellphone to log on.

Other issues that face Philadelphia students include unreliable internet connections, a lack of air conditioning in their homes and a lack of access to healthy food. On Tuesday, Mayor Jim Kenney said that school meals could be picked up starting Thursday.

Access centers are set up throughout the city for students unable to learn at home.

There are some simple things parents can do to help their child learn online amid coronavirus this fall.
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