Distribution of some technology was discussed during the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division’s regular meeting on Monday.
During the meeting, trustees discussed feedback they had received about the division’s recent distribution of 2,000 Chromebook computers to schools over the last month. A large percentage of the funds to purchase the technology came from Ministry of Education COVID-19 contingency funding, director of education Robert Bratvold said.
Overall there was a positive response from schools.
“The intent is those Chromebooks can be used for supporting learning in-person and also be used as supports when a classroom has to move to remote learning. We know that not every student will have access to WiFi and things like that. But for those that do that is providing some support for them,” Bratvold said.
When funding for the second intake was announced in December. The division received $3,237,494. Bratvold explained that schools in the division have learned over the course of the pandemic to connect with families that don’t have technology through learning packages.
“It has been really hard work that the teachers have done and that the families and students are doing to make that successful,” Bratvold said.
He added that as expectations have continued to evolve as well.
“We just know that a learning package or a hard copy supported by phone calls or emails is not the same as learning in a classroom with your peers and a teacher and support staff. But we know that it also has been successful in lots of ways too,” Bratvold said.
In December Bratvold said that items approved for funding included air purification systems and a large order of Chromebooks that they hoped to receive by January. There was also funding approved for hardware such as laptops, furniture and equipment for the Sask. Rivers Distance Learning Centre.