ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Last week, News 6 introduced you to a mom who told us her son was No. 70 on a waiting list at his school to get a laptop.
On Friday, Orange County school board members said the laptop issue is now one that has them reaching out to the community for help.
“I was brainstorming with the staff at OCPS yesterday, and one of the thoughts that we came up with was if we ask the business community, who’s had to retool their workforce, to maybe donate some of the laptops that they don’t need,” said Pam Gould, vice chair of the school board for Orange County Public Schools.
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Gould said she is turning to the business community for help getting laptops to students.
“If they’ve downsized, if they had to buy new equipment because people are working remotely, and they might have a device that can be used by our students, that would be great,” Gould said.
Board member Angie Gallo said they’re also calling on families to help.
She said they are asking any family that has a laptop at home that can be used for school, to return their school-issued laptop, so that another student who doesn’t have one can use it.
OCPS said the district purchased 3,000 laptops in July to be distributed to schools and said they should be receiving them in the next couple of weeks.
But in the interim, Gallo said, “it’s frustrating; I’m sure it’s frustrating for the students, it’s frustrating for the parents that are trying to help the students.”
News 6 asked the district how many laptops are needed district-wide, and the manager of media relations, Michael Ollendorff, responded with a statement that reads in part, “because devices are managed at the school level on a case-by-case basis, there is no record at the district level.”
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