Nearly 600 additional Chromebooks and Special Education devices were distributed to families at schools across the St. Clair Catholic district today. It was the second round of technology deployment for the Board, bringing the total to more than 1,600 devices.
“This is an amazing achievement in a very short time frame,” says Deb Crawford. “It is so important as we continue to move forward with teacher-led at home distance learning that every student is able to participate.”
The devices were distributed by school principals today, through a protocol that was approved by the Medical Officers of Health for Chatham-Kent and Lambton. The protocol includes a self-assessment for anyone attending the deployment sites, and a method of distribution designed to safeguard the health of staff and families attending the schools to collect the devices.
St. Clair Catholic is now developing a plan to assist families who do not currently have access to the internet through home wifi. The Board reached out to staff and members of our school communities in an urgent appeal for donations of old iPhones (Series 5 or newer) that were no longer being used. The personal ‘hotspot’ capability of the phones can be activated to create a wifi field in the home to run devices for at home distance learning.
“We now have more than 40 iPhones, which we will soon begin to courier out to families,” says Mrs. Crawford. “I want to thank our many staff and school community members who answered our call for help with their donations. St. Clair Catholic truly is a family. We look out for each other – especially in times of greatest need.”
Board staff are now in the process of calling individual families who have indicated they do not have internet access and making arrangements to have the donated iPhones delivered by courier service.
“Again I want to thank our Information Technology staff, principals and our administrative staff who have supported this mammoth undertaking,” says Mrs. Crawford. “In particular, I would like to say a special word of thanks to Superintendent Scott Johnson and Associate Director Amy Janssens who have led this initiative. Their tremendous leadership has enabled us to move forward quickly so that we can get on with the business of learning.”