PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s taken some time, but online classes will begin tomorrow for Pittsburgh’s Public Schools.
The district was hampered by a lack of computers in about half of its students’ homes.
It’s been a dull couple of weeks for Michael Snowden and other college-bound seniors eager to complete their studies and graduate.
Andy Sheehan: You anxious to get back?
Snowden: Yeah, I’m anxious to get back. I was supposed to start college June 8, but it’s being rescheduled, probably because of the coronavirus.
Seniors without computers at home picked up laptops today to begin what the district calls a soft roll out of online instruction. Other grade levels will get theirs over the coming days.
While suburban district are now weeks into online classes, about half of the district, 23,000 students, lack the necessary at-home technology. To catch up, the district recently bought about 5,000 laptops for lending but are still short another 7,000. Students without will be given instructional packets to complete.
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“Moving instruction for 23,000 students from brick and mortar classrooms to remote learning via online and institutional packets is no easy task. It takes significant planning at any time, but particularly within the time since schools have been closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Superintendent Anthony Hamlet.
Despite these hurdles, some parents were critical of the delay.
“It took too long for Pittsburgh Public Schools to hand these out, but now that they have them, I’m happy because my daughter is a senior and she wants finish her education,” said Mary Vaughn, a parent.
Others say they’ll try to salvage what’s left of the school year.
Said Daniel Page: “Slow’s better than never.”