“The vendors we are working with their orders are backlogged. So we have gone back to the drawing board on how to give all our students devices,” said Styles. “We have heard your concerns loud and clear and we are working with our vendors to get more devices.
Styles recently testified remotely before a Congressional committee earlier than this year that was exploring the depth of the digital gap problems in American school systems with lower income families lacking the same digital learning options of most other families.
Laptops for students in grades 3-12 will be available for pick up sometime during the week of Aug. 17 – the district’s start of the new school year – and school families will also pick up their wi-fi access and passwords at that time.
The exact timing and locations that week for school families to stop by schools is still being worked out, he said.
“It’s been a very crazy time for the last few weeks here and in schools across Ohio. Please be patient with us,” he said.
Styles also said decisions are yet to be made on fall sports and extra-curricular activities.
Ohio prep sports fall season practices start Saturday, and Styles said officials are awaiting word from the Ohio High School Athletic Association and state and local health officials as to how to proceed.
But it has been decided the children of families who sign up choose the virtual learning option for the first semester – sign-up deadline Aug. 3 – will not be allowed to participate in-person band, orchestra or choir.
“There is a lot going on (and) we are preparing the best we can,” he said, urging school families to refer to the district’s website for further announcements and details.