IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) — The Iowa City School District is working to ensure students can continue learning from home, as schools are closed until April 12, 2020, to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Iowa City Community School District is trying to provide internet access and laptops to students while home during break. Schools are closed until April 12 to help slow the spread of COVID-19. (KCRG File)
The district already has a one-to-one program that provides every middle school and high school student both a computer for home and options for internet access. Now, the district is working to do the same for its elementary students while on break.
“We think that this is a reasonable step to take to ensure that all of our kids have access to online curriculum and online materials being provided from the district, but also have access to communication resources and other resources available to students and families online,” Adam Kurth, director of technology for the Iowa City Community School District, said.
Kurth said students and families can request a laptop and internet access through the district’s website or over the phone. The district is making arrangements with area internet providers to give internet access to families.
Based on their address, the family with receive either a mobile hotspot or cable internet. Those costs range from about $10-$20 per month, and with 90 requests so far, the district is expecting to pay around $1,000 per month. There is no additional cost to the district to provide computers since they are using the ones it already has.
“The devices that we are using for this program aren’t new. What we are doing is pulling devices from classrooms or maybe cart assigned in our elementary schools for the purpose of assigning them to students at home,” Kurth said.
Kurth said school staff is satirizing and wrapping each device before giving them to students and families. Kurth also said as of now, access to online learning is not required by students.
People in the Iowa City Community School District who want to request a laptop or internet access for their students can learn more here.