PHOTO: The Davis Joint Unified School District has been and will continue distributing Chromebooks to students in need (Manpreet Kaur).
By Hannah Cho and Lindsey Su,
Davis High recently resumed instruction through online platforms such as WebEx and Google Classroom, stirring concerns among families who do not have access to technology or the Internet. Thankfully, the Davis Joint Unified School District is prepared to meet this challenge.
DJUSD used the “tech survey” it conducted last fall to identify students in need. A week before the “Shelter-in-Place” was issued, district employees and library staff called students and distributed Chromebooks.
“Once the district decided to move forward with Distance Learning, [the district] decided to be more assertive about identifying students and families that needed technology and internet access,” DHS librarian Bruce Cummings said.
Marcia Bernard, Director of Instructional Technology Services at DJUSD, has been leading the effort to reach out to families in need since DHS shifted to online instruction.
“We reached out through the website news stories, weekly superintendent messages, principal messages, district and school site social media and Peachjar flyers,” Bernard said. “More targeted outreach has occurred to families who may be farthest from opportunity by email, voicemails, phone calls, and U.S. Mail, in both English and Spanish.”
After spreading awareness about the help DJUSD was planning to offer, district employees set up “Chromebook Drive-up Checkout” stations at the DJUSD Technology Office and arranged delivery for families who couldn’t get to the district.
Thus far, DJUSD has personally delivered 18 Chromebooks to homes and 100 internet hotspots have been provided to families through pick up or delivery.
“I had to share my computer with my brother for a few weeks because our WiFi malfunctioned,” senior Janine Tsai said. “The WiFi works now, thankfully, but I was worried that I’d have to figure out how we would take different classes at the same time.”
For families with multiple students in one home, students can also easily access WebEx on a smartphone or tablet.
“I’m grateful that the district is providing support to students who are in my situation for the long run,” Tsai continued. “I think I’m okay for now, but I’m glad I have a Plan B if problems do happen.”
Distribution continues at the safe station set up at the DJUSD Technology Office Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. through April 24. The DJUSD Technology Office is also available to help provide families with internet access in their homes.
Those in need of technology services or have questions can contact the district’s technology department and find more information here.