LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - With less than three weeks left until JCPS heads 'back to school' through its non-traditional instruction, the school district said they want to provide all students with the devices necessary to learn from home.
JCPS teacher and mother of two students herself, Mary Baunjoko was relieved to hear how all her students will likely have the tools they need for the upcoming school year.
"We have wealth gaps in our city, and that shows when you have things like this," Baunjoko said. "Those that are dealing with socio-economical disadvantages are not going to be able to have the access to the computers and even the internet that other families are fortunate to have. As a district and as a community we really have to address that."
JCPS announced plans to distribute 30,000 new Chromebooks and 10,000 hot spots to students who cannot purchase one themselves, in addition to the 20,000 Chromebooks distributed last spring. JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said the goal for the start of the school year is to have a 1-to-1 student-to-instructional device ratio. That includes making sure each student in the household has their own device, so they don’t have to share throughout the day.
"We are meeting the needs of our families, and so many districts across the state and nation are doing the same thing, but these are short term solutions, and we have got to make sure we work together to make sure we find ways so that all students have access to connectivity to a device, and it goes beyond a pandemic," Pollio said.
During a news conference Wednesday, Pollio mentioned 30 percent of JCPS families do not have the devices necessary to participate in non-traditional learning, or NTI. He said he hopes all students will have a device so they can succeed during NTI and in the long run.
That brings relief to Baunjoko who says she won’t have to worry about whether or not her new students will have the tools needed to participate in NTI. She looks forward to finding new, creative ways for her children to learn, and she encourages other parents to do the same if they are able.
"You get your Chromebooks, you're able to get that internet access, use it, but don't feel like that in of itself is going to be the only way you're going to educate your kids," Baunjoko said. "It's temporary, hopefully, and we'll get back to something traditional in the long term."
JCPS launched this website on Wednesday to help guide parents through all the information they need to know about NTI 2.0 before the start of the school year.