Times & locations expanded for students to pickup laptops for Duval Homeroom

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – To speed up the distribution of laptops for Duval County students who will need them for the district’s remote learning program, times and locations have been expanded.

Starting Wednesday, laptops could be checked out at 10 schools locations. However, pickup date and time will be determined by a student’s last name.

The sites include:

  • Ed White High School
  • Duncan U. Fletcher High School
  • Mandarin High School
  • Jean Ribault High School
  • Robert E. Lee High School
  • First Coast High School
  • Jefferson Davis Middle School
  • Kernan Middle School
  • LaVilla Middle School
  • Mandarin Middle School

Follow the link here for the list of distribution dates based on last names.

The laptops are intended only for students who don’t have access to computers. Families with multiple children will be limited to two laptops.

Due to the recommendations for social distancing, parents and students must arrive in a vehicle. They should prepare to wait as the check-out process takes time.

Hundreds arrived at Mandarin Middle School on Wednesday to receive their laptop. Staff members were wearing masks and gloves while handing out computers.

Jeremy, a second grader, said he and his family are relieved the extended break is coming to and end, and they won’t have to share the family computer. Jessica Roman, his mom, said the last few weeks have been hectic.

“It’s been different,” Roman said. “We only had one device at home, so they’ve been sharing. It just extends the amount of work they have to do.”

Moses Williams, the school’s principal, said along with his staff, he spent the day under the hot sun trying to get students up to speed so that remove learning can become the new normal until leaders determine it’s safe for students to return.

“We put together a plan that’s logistically smooth,” Williams said. “Parents come through in the cars and keep them moving. Don’t allow them to get out, keep a safe distance. Don’t allow them to get out, have a holding station. So it’s been a plan that seems to work so far.”

Some students have already been using computers before Wednesday, but some have not had a way to do school work until now. The principal said the teachers will work with each student to make sure they have the time they need to get up to speed.

Duval County Schools is asking students to communicate via the Microsoft Teams website or app, which uses Skype so that teachers can teach through a video stream. The district is reminding teachers to use the app as well, and not Zoom, which some have reportedly been using.

“We did have some teachers that were using Zoom and some other resources out there, we’ve reminded them that we want to use the Teams app,” said Jim Culbert, Duval County Schools chief information officer. “That makes it very easy for them because all our students are already rostered, they’re already there, and they’re all inside one platform.”

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