Students visited MSD on Friday, March 20, and Saturday, March 28, to collect laptops for distance learning. Photo by Melissa Falkowski
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic many schools across the nation, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, have moved to online classes in order to keep students and administration safe and healthy. On Friday, March 20, and Saturday, March 28, the MSD administration and staff handed out computers to students in need to start this process of distance learning.
Before Broward County Public Schools had their spring break, Superintendent Robert Runcie announced that all BCPS schools would switch to online learning beginning on Monday, March 30. This new form of learning would allow students to receive their education from their computers at home.
To make sure every student has equal access to computers, MSD staff handed out around 700 laptops to students. They will be able to use these computers to access Canvas, a learning management system, which many teachers must use to communicate and give out assignments at home. Across the district, 82,000 laptops were distributed to students.
“Since we are requiring students to attend school virtually during the pandemic, we must ensure that they have the tools necessary to be successful,” Principal Michelle Kefford said. “So lending laptops to students in need was necessary.”
Students who did not have laptops, or devices equipped to handle online learning went back to school on March 20 and 28 to borrow one.
“I think that the school loaning laptops to students is great. Some people are not able to afford laptops or their laptops are broken. So, this opportunity comes in handy for those in need, ” sophomore Ria Singh said.
However, not all students were willing and able to get a laptop from school. Sophomore Hailey Jacobson was unable to make the first day for handouts, and did not want to risk her health getting one, so she made the decision to purchase a laptop.
“I couldn’t risk my parents going to get a laptop,” Jacobson said. “I would much rather spend the money than be put in a position that might be unsafe.”
The MSD staff and administration have no concerns for laptop returns. As long as they come back in working condition when school resumes, everything should run smoothly for the upcoming school year.
“We hope to receive all laptops back in perfect condition when school resumes,” Principal Kefford said.
Until students return to school, they will keep possession of the loaned laptops. The current date of return is May 1, which is subject to change depending on the continuing coronavirus’ threat.