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Atlanta superintendent urges families to fill out technology survey

Diamond Parks, a paraprofessional at Harper-Archer Elementary School assigns a computer to a student who came to the school with his stepfather on March 24, 2020. The school was issuing devices to students so they could continue studying during the coronavirus pandemic. Ben@BenGray.com for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Diamond Parks, a paraprofessional at Harper-Archer Elementary School assigns a computer to a student who came to the school with his stepfather on March 24, 2020. The school was issuing devices to students so they could continue studying during the coronavirus pandemic. Ben@BenGray.com for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta school district is surveying families to find out their technology needs as teachers prepare to begin the year with virtual-only instruction.

Atlanta Public Schools posted an electronic survey for families to complete by Aug. 7 to ensure that students have a computer and internet connection by the scheduled first day of classes on Aug. 24.

Families should submit one survey for each child that attends an APS school.

District officials have said they will provide students with the technology they need to keep up with studies at home.

In a virtual town hall meeting on Wednesday, Superintendent Lisa Herring urged parents to fill out the survey.

“We are committed to making a device and a hotspot available to any child that needs one. I must stress the importance of our students and families completing the technology survey,” she said.

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In an earlier APS survey about how to reopen schools, about 17% of respondents reported that not every student in their household had access to a home computer. In that same survey, 6% of respondents said their child did not have reliable high-speed internet at home.

APS announced earlier this month that it would conduct online-only classes during at least the first nine weeks of the school year, or until there is minimal or moderate spread of the coronavirus.

The school board is expected to vote Monday to finalize the Aug. 24 start date for the school year.