By David Pan
Beacon reporter 

Mukilteo School District distributing computers, providing online training for teachers

Series: Coronavirus | Story 33

Last updated 4/8/2020 at 2:46pm

Photo courtesy of Mukilteo School District

Families line up to pick up laptop computers at Mariner High School.

The Mukilteo School District is continuing to distribute laptop computers to students, while teachers are receiving training on an online platform that will connect them with students.

Distribution of laptops to high school and middle school students is complete and the district is now focusing on elementary students.

About 5% of families who responded to a school district technology survey indicated they did not have internet/Wi-Fi access at home. At this time, the district is not able to provide Wi-Fi hot spots for students as providers are unable to meet the demand.

Mukilteo School District spokesperson Diane Bradford encouraged those without internet access to look into discount programs offered by Comcast and Frontier.

High school staff started receiving information on Google Classroom, the online platform the district plans to use to connect teachers and students.

"Some of our teachers, if they are already familiar with the platform, are welcome to start connecting with their students," Bradford said. "Not all of our teachers are set up and ready to go."

Formal online instruction for students likely will be a staggered rollout, Bradford added.

"Some teachers are ready to roll," she said. "Some teachers might need more time. ... There's not a magic date that works for every single teacher. We're providing training and resources. It might take some time to get individual courses up and running."

Bradford noted that there has been some confusion about Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal's directive for all school districts to begin educational services for all students by Monday, March 30.

"He wants school districts to be able to provide some kind of learning starting this week," Bradford said. "Not providing anything is not an option. ... He also said he understands school districts will be providing a combination of ways to connect with students."

Reykdal wrote to school districts that "We should avoid assuming that continuity of education outside of a typical school building can only occur through online means. Districts will provide instruction using printed learning materials, phone contact, email, technology-based virtual instruction, or a combination to meet student needs."

The Mukilteo School District has posted learning resources on its website and is offering specific grade-level printed packets for pickup at meal distribution sites. Some of the packets for elementary and middle school students are more than 100 pages.

The packets are intended to provide students practice to maintain their skills until distance learning is operational.

"We are definitely using the combination approach," Bradford said.

This story has been updated.


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