Gwinnett schools approve $5 million for additional Chromebooks

Gwinnett County buses line up in front of Berkmar High School in Lilburn on Tuesday morning April 7, while waiting to deliver lunches to students in the district. Ben@BenGray.com for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Gwinnett County buses line up in front of Berkmar High School in Lilburn on Tuesday morning April 7, while waiting to deliver lunches to students in the district. Ben@BenGray.com for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben@bengray.com

Credit: Ben@bengray.com

Nearly 50,000 Gwinnett County Public Schools students have received Chromebooks from the district to help them participate in remote learning. The school board approved the purchase of 19,000 more on Thursday night.

The district distributed the Chromebooks to its students, as well as 4,491 internet hot spots, ahead of the virtual start of the 2020-2021 school year, Chief Information Officer Frank Elmore said at the Board of Education work session. Another 2,000 Chromebooks are expected to be delivered soon.

The 19,000 laptops approved Thursday night will cost the district $5 million.

The Chromebooks and hot spots are intended to provide access to virtual learning tools for students who may not have had computer or internet access at home. The district started the school year remotely on Aug. 12.

Gwinnett, which has more than 180,000 students, will begin a phasing in in-person instruction on Aug. 26. Returning to the classrooms first will be kindergartners; students in grades 1, 6 and 9; and special education students whose parents opted for in-person learning. By Sept. 9, students in all grades will be allowed to return to classroom instruction.

The Chromebooks are part of the district’s effort to provide resources to students that they would usually get in school. Gwinnett County Public Schools is also offering free lunch to students who would typically receive it when attending school in person; the meals are available for pickup at the child’s school.

In Other News