Chromebooks and WiFi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY SCHOOLS DEVELOPS PLAN FOR ONLINE LEARNING

July 29, 2020

Chromebooks for families in need and Wi-Fi access for all are the combined goals of
Pittsylvania County Schools (PCS) as plans for the school year 2020-2021 are developed.
“Planning during an active pandemic must be a fluid process for Pittsylvania County Schools. Instructional scenarios, including remote online learning, require both access to devices and to Wi-Fi,” observed Dr. Mark R. Jones, Division Superintendent. “It is our hope that we are able to provide both to as many of students as we can,” he added.

With the approval of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors, the Division has been
allowed to utilize almost one million dollars of its CARES Act funding to purchase
Chromebooks as well as ten additional antennas for all of its elementary schools. Once
completed, any student, parent, or community member may use the guest network available from any of our school parking lots. The guest Wi-Fi will be available starting at 3:00 pm on weekdays and all day on the weekends.

“We are grateful to the Board of Supervisors for prioritizing education so the needs of our
families may be addressed,” commented Dr. Jeffrey B. Early, Assistant Superintendent for
Operations. Early, who oversees the Information Technology Department, further explained that PCS will initially loan its existing inventory of Chromebooks to those families who have no device at home.

“This plan will expedite the check-out process so that the students who will be learning from home will be ready when the school year begins,” said Early. “We are currently ordering replacement Chromebooks so that students who are physically attending school will also have the equipment needed for learning,” he added.

The process for checking out Chromebooks has been developed, in keeping with both the
instructional needs of the schools and the limited inventory available, and is as follows:
  • Grades 4-12 will be permitted to check out a Chromebook as it is more developmentally appropriate for older students to use these devices than younger students. The expectation is to reach families with access to the Internet, as devices without connectivity will not serve their intended purpose.

  • Only one device per household may be borrowed, so that as many families as possible are served.

  • Once the school’s inventory has been loaned out, no additional devices can be loaned
    until more arrive.

Schools will call parents when it is appropriate to make an appointment for a Chromebook
checkout. Upon arrival, parents are requested to follow the school’s procedures. All parents will be asked to sign a form indicating they will be financially responsible for the device and in agreement to pay $280 to replace those which are damaged or lost. Parents also agree to return the Chromebook to the school when requested.

Parents may visit the Division web site for current information and updates regarding the
reopening of schools at: https://www.pcs.k12.va.us/reopening_schools.

Contact:
Dr. Jeffrey B. Early, Assistant Superintendent for Operations
11690 US 29 North
Chatham, Virginia 24531
(434) 432-3823