As of Monday, Alexandria City Public Schools will have issued more than 1,200 mobile hotspots to families without internet access and more than 12,000 Chromebook laptop computers to students to keep them learning throughout the COVID-19 shut down until the end of the year.
Making sure that students have access to their teachers and modified curriculums has been an unprecedented logistical puzzle that took a lot of work for ACPS Chief Technology Officer Elizabeth Hoover and her team to accomplish.
“It’s not just giving someone the internet,” Hoover said. “They’re going through our filter, and we manage the hours and we can manage the data so there’s a shared data pool. And some of our households have six kids, and they need more data. This way we can allocate data by the need and by the size of the household.”
ACPS students have had laptops since 2004, and the school system estimates there are about 600 households with more than 1,200 students who need help with internet access. The school system ended up buying an additional 700 Kajeets mobile hotspot devices (on top of the 500 that were previously distributed earlier in the year), and started mailing them with letters in multiple languages to families today. The hotspots are expected to be delivered Monday.
There are more than 15,700 students in the school system, and the additional equipment and data plans reportedly cost ACPS $150,000, of which $16,000 was raised by parent teacher associations, according to an ACPS spokesperson.
“What kept me up at night for the last month is figuring out how do we… make sure that our kids are engaged with their teachers?” Hoover said. “And it’s not just an instruction it’s also social, emotional, having that that support of their being able to see their through their friends and see their teachers.”
ACPS is going to need to get the equipment back at some point, and staff are considering letting students keep with throughout the summer.
“It will be it will definitely be different because, when or if the traditional school year starts back in the fall we will certainly need to collect and prepare and clean and make sure that they’re all ready to go,” Hoover said. “That may be a challenge, but I think we saw other ones that are much bigger than that.”
Hoover’s biggest challenge was identifying families without internet access.
“That took a lot of work from schools and social workers to help us do that. That’s been a challenge,” she said. “Now, I think we have a better idea of our actual numbers of students that do not have internet access. Times like this are time opportunities for innovation, and we need to look at different ways we can get our students internet access on a permanent basis.”
Photo via ACPS/Facebook
Good Tuesday morning, Alexandria! 🌤️ Today’s weather: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 76. Northeast wind around 10 mph. At night: Increasing clouds, with a low…
A 27-year-old Maryland man has been charged with robbing two separate Alexandria banks in March and April. Jaquan Royal, of Prince George’s County, was arrested on May 24 in connection…
It’s been another busy week in Alexandria as the city heads into Memorial Day weekend. For those driving this weekend, be aware that some of the major roads are likely…
Virginia’s junior U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine was in Alexandria today to discuss early childhood education and said that the current debt ceiling fight in Washington should be wrapped up by…
Are you seeking a confidential space where you can explore your emotions, overcome challenges, and find inner peace? Look no further than our dedicated psychotherapy service! We understand that life can be overwhelming at times, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
At Peaceful Mind Solutions, our passion lies in helping individuals like you navigate life’s complexities and find the strength to thrive. Our skilled and compassionate therapist is committed to creating a warm, non-judgmental environment where you can express your thoughts and feelings openly. With our personalized approach, we tailor each session to address your unique needs and empower you to overcome obstacles.
Through evidence-based techniques and a deep understanding of the human mind, our therapist will guide you on a transformative journey of self-discovery. Whether you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or simply seeking personal growth, we’re here to provide guidance and practical tools for lasting change.
Time flies when you’re having fun! The T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 will hold its 50th reunion July 21-23, 2023 in Alexandria. All graduates and their adult nears and dears are welcome. Events include a Friday evening icebreaker, Saturday dinner dance, and a Sunday brunch. For more information: tcwilliams73.com, 770.789.3534.
Spring Fling at Rising Sol Yoga School
Join us for a day of FREE hot yoga. Experience our class styles and meet our teachers. Buy a bite at the Bake Sale to benefit The Carpenter’s Shelter, peruse some special vendors, take advantage of in-person only discounts on