Huge effort underway
By Josh Resnek
At home instruction under the management of the School Department and its staff of teachers, administrators and assistants is now underway to augment the closure of classroom instruction which began March 12 with real time video and audio instruction on the computer.
This effort is now underway with a free supply of Chromebook laptops now being distributed to parents of students for their use.
Free distribution of the laptops began Tuesday at the Encore site and was very well received by a steady stream of parents who picked up the computers in a drive through staffed by School Department employees and volunteers.
An estimated 7,000 Everett public school students are presently at home.
It is not known yet how such instruction will impact on state education department requirements for students to be deemed to have finished a school year.
At this moment, with the coronavirus spreading rapidly and the city, state and nation in lock down, the school department has been rushing to set-up virtual teaching for Everett students by their teachers to fill the void caused by the closure of the schools.
Superintendent Priya Tahiliani has been leading this charge into virtual education, which is very likely to become a staple in the weeks and months when the spread of the virus has been stemmed.“She has made the right decision every time on this daring initiative,”said a School Department official who wished to remain unnamed.
“She is bright and assertive. She knows exactly what she is doing,”added the official.
The only caveat to this program is that many Everett families with children in the public schools do not have access to personal computers of wi-fi in their apartments.
The Everett Public Schools (EPS) is offering cost-free Chromebooks to students who do not have access to a computer at home as part of the district’s ambitious Technology to Go initiative. While the district is offering delivery options, families are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the drive-up program that begins tomorrow.
Chromebooks will be distributed from the parking lot across from the Encore Boston Harbor Resort from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. based on students’ last names, according to the following schedule:
• Students with last names that begin with A through D should come on Tuesday, March 31.
• Students with last names that begin with E through L should come on Wednesday, April 1.
• Students with last names that begin with M through Q should come on Thursday, April 2.
• Students with last names that begin with R through Z should come on Friday, April 3.
The pick-ups will adhere to social distancing rules. Students do not need to be present, and family members can remain in their cars during the entire process.
Our delivery time slots are filling up very quickly. Families who take advantage of the drive-up program will have their Chromebooks this week. Deliveries will not begin until April 6, and they will extend into the week of April 13.
*Part of this article was taken from the City of Everett Facebook site.