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Dallas ISD begins passing out laptops and hot spots to elementary students

Lines are forming, as staffers distribute 60,000 tech kits to students at campuses across the school district.

DALLAS — This will be a busy week around some campuses across Dallas Independent School District. Parents are picking up laptops, iPads, hot spot devices and other accessories for students who will begin online instruction in the coming weeks.

”I’m just excited to get to know the kids,” said Miguel Ortega, the new principal at Wilmer Hutchins Elementary School.

Parents were lining up outside the school to pick up tech kits for the 2020-2021 school year.

“I mean, it’s a big challenge,” Ortega said as he greeted parents and students.

Children will be using the tech kits for virtual classrooms or distance learning, when the school year begins after Labor Day.

”It will be interesting,” parent Morrai Franklin said.

The coronavirus pandemic is making the upcoming school year and interesting one for families across North Texas.

This week, Dallas ISD is distributing tech kits to 60,000 elementary students. The district invested $20-million into the project.

”I’m really, really, scared,” said Juan Gonzales. He has two children who will begin the school year with online classes.

Many parents say safety is key, as they debate whether to send students back to school campuses.

Veronica Mejia has give children in Dallas ISD. Each of the students will start out with online learning in the coming weeks. Still, mom has some questions.

Mejia asked, ”The online, is it going to just be for a couple of weeks? Is it going to eventually go back to in person? How long will this last?”

As school district leaders continue hammering out details, parents like Morrai Franklin will spend the coming weeks getting used to new technology, like setting up her first grader’s laptop and hot spot from home.

”We’re still learning with that,” Franklin explained. “I don’t have internet. But we are going to get through it.”

Parents and students will have tech support from their child’s campus and Dallas ISD.

Ortega said family’s will not have to deal with the challenges of distance learning alone.

Ortega added, "We also have to support parents in training them how do I use Zoom? How do I use Google classroom? So they don’t feel as overwhelmed.”

Dallas ISD will continue handing out tech kits throughout this week, for elementary students whose parents pre-registered.

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