Prince George’s County will spend $2 million to distribute laptops and provide wireless internet to students who lack computer or internet access during the coronavirus-induced school closures across Maryland. But some parents are complaining a poorly-worded survey means some families will have to split their home computer between their work-from-home job duties and their student’s education.
How it works
Under the program, the Prince George’s County Public School System will distribute inexpensive Chromebook laptops to pupils from distribution sites at neighborhood schools. Families who completed the PGCPS technology survey or communicated their needs to teachers and administrators will receive priority distribution.
Prince George’s County Public Schools announced it will partner with Comcast and Verizon to provide broadband internet access.
School officials also encouraged neighborhood businesses, nonprofits and churches to establish public wifi hotspots that could help provide internet access for students.
Also, starting April 14, 2020, Prince George’s County Public Schools will turn on wifi access at several schools across the county for students to use from school parking lots.
From PGCPS, more details on device pickup and internet access are below:
- Chromebook distribution will be held Wednesday, April 1 through Friday, April 3 at students’ boundary school in the parking lot from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- If there is inclement weather, please check the PGCPS website and PGCPS-TV (Verizon 38/Xfinity 96) for a new distribution date.
- Bring a parent ID, student report card and an ink pen to complete the appropriate forms.
- PGCPS will assist families who are eligible for Free and Reduced Meals sign up for Comcast Essentials.
- PGCPS will work with Comcast and Verizon to help all non-FARMS families establish internet either through a hotspot or broadband.
Shortly after the program details were announced Wednesday, Some Prince George’s County residents took to Twitter to complain that the technology survey was misleading.
Editor’s note:Route 1 Reporter is – normally – a subscriber-supported local news website. Due to the state of emergency, articles about the coronavirus pandemic will be available for free. If you like the reporting, please support Route 1 Reporter on Patreon.
Route 1 Reporter wants to know about your food security news!
Is your organization running a food drive, food pantry or other event to address nutritional needs during the pandemic? Are you a grocer who’s offering special services to vulnerable populations? If so, contact editor Michael Theis at this link with details to share here.