PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After months of planning, Tuesday was the start of the school year for Pittsburgh Public Schools, but it didn’t come without some technology issues.
They district is starting the year virtually, for at least the first nine weeks of classes, but some families are still in need of devices.
“I can’t get a laptop. This is the third time I’m in line,” grandparent of four, Rita Waters, said.
Waters had devices for only two of her grandchildren until today. She said the process has been a hassle.
“It’s just so much wasted time. I should be home,” she said outside Pittsburgh Oliver.
Pittsburgh Public Schools continued distributing devices as online learning began.
Chief Accountability Officer Dr. Ted Dwyer says 1,000 devices will be in this week and that a device should get to everyone that needs one.
“We just need the people who need the laptops to come get them,” Dr. Dwyer said.
He said getting one-to-one with devices will have to wait until 6,000 more devices arrive in October or November. Every child between pre-K through first grade should have an iPad.
“If a student has a computer that they could use at home, we are still asking the families to use their own personal computer at home if they have one,” Dr. Dwyer said.
WATCH: Pittsburgh Public Schools Assistant Superintendent —
“We will not stop until we are a one-to-one district. We are going to continue until the boys and girls get the devices that they need,” PPS Assistant Superintendent Dr. Monica Lamar said.
Another issue families ran into was connecting to the virtual classrooms. According to Dr. Dwyer, there was an issue with some internet providers, including the district’s provider Verizon. They are not sure when it will be fixed and are asking for families to be patient.
District says there is an issue with some internet providers. There is an issue with district’s provider Verizon. Not sure what it is. Asking families to keep trying to log on and to be patient. Working to fix problem. @KDKA
— Chris Hoffman (@NewsmanChris) September 8, 2020
However, Verizon says they had no issues in the Pittsburgh area Tuesday morning.
A statement from their communications department says:
“We have confirmed there are no issues with the Verizon wireline or wireless network in the area. We encourage anyone with connectivity issues to call customer support.”
“They got on for two minutes and then they’re off,” Waters said.
“Bumps in the road are something that we hoped were not going to happen, but are a possibility. Don’t stress out, it will be okay,” Dr. Dwyer said.
The device distributions go until 6 p.m. at Pittsburgh Oliver, Westinghouse and Carrick.
To help students, Pittsburgh Public will have remote learning hubs where students can engage in their school day with support of provider staff.
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