CHCCS Distributes Over 11,600 Device to Students
Before the start of the 2020-21 school year, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) committed to providing the newest district technology devices to all students, K-12, with provisions for internet connectivity to those who need it. From August 10 through August 19, every school hosted drive-through distribution events outdoors, relying on both staff and volunteers to manage the process each day.
On Tuesday, August 18th, the third of four days at Phillips Middle School (PMS), the bus parking lot provided a smooth, multi-station process for families to sign the necessary paperwork, collect their new devices and other school-issued supplies and wave, as the team of helpers danced to music played from a boombox. Students were also fitted for band and orchestra instruments, and several classes passed out supplies to students in their classes.
The PMS staff had ordered two-foot cardboard pictures of their faces as “identifiers,” so families could recognize them behind their masks and sunglasses. Theater teacher, Savada Gilmore, led dance steps as part of the greeters’ station, where every car was offered popsicles to begin the loop as part of the pitch for families to join the PTSA.
Tiffany Cheshire, PMS assistant principal, said, “It was a time for new staff to meet each other outside of Google meets, greet students and families, and get necessary supplies out to our families.”
All kindergarten and 1st grade students received iPads, while 2nd through 5th grade students received Lenovo 100e Chromebooks, and 6th through 12th grade students collected Lenovo 500e Chromebooks. T-Mobile internet hotspots were distributed to households with identified need. The devices provided to many students last spring were exchanged for the newer laptops and pads. All events adhered to district health and safety protocols.
Director of Digital Learning and Library Services, Debby Atwater, said, “Our K-12 device distribution was a huge success, thanks to our school administrators, teachers, instructional technology facilitators, information technology and librarian teams, and our fantastic community volunteers and families. Over the course of eight days, we distributed over 11,600 of our newest iPads and Chromebooks and increased access to the internet for over 1,100 families with our updated internet hotspot program. This effort has helped us to break down barriers to technology and internet access for our students and families, and increased opportunity for students to connect with their teachers, classmates and assignments as we begin the school year.”