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Covington Schools Look to Close Digital Divide with Chromebook Purchase

Covington Independent Public Schools is now what is referred to as a one-to-one district, meaning that there is an electronic device/computer available to each student within the system.

At last month's board of education meeting, District Director of Technology Jamarcus White gave a report on the order of 600 Chromebooks for students in grades K through 2.

"With remote learning being a necessity now (due to the pandemic), the district is providing devices and making sure all grades have access to devices to complete their daily work," White said. "We're addressing the needs of our students and families. We will soon be a one-to-one district."

Earlier this year, the district purchased 1m050 Chromebooks for students in grades 3 through 5.

Middle and high school students already had computer devices.

Superintendent Alvin Garrison commented that the new devices will help to reduce the digital achievement gap. The students had been sharing devices or using phones or public facilities to get by until the Chromebooks came in to complete their assignments.

"Students will now be able to interact with their teachers and fellow students, research and complete assignments without leaving their homes," said Garrison. "This is great for our students. The digital divide has always been there, but it has become more prevalent during this Covid 19 pandemic."

White said the district is also working with others to provide hot spots for families who don't have internet access.

The board voted to accept the Kentucky Educational Technology Services' first offer of assistance in the amount of $24,246. This is the first of three offers of assistance the district receives through the school year, and it must be used for technology.

-Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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