Gwinnett school district buys 32,000 more student laptops

Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks gives a state of the schools address at the Infinite Energy Center Gwinnett on Sept. 11, 2019. (STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

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Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks gives a state of the schools address at the Infinite Energy Center Gwinnett on Sept. 11, 2019. (STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

Gwinnett County Public Schools recently ordered 32,000 laptops for students, Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks told the county’s state legislative delegation recently in a videoconference.

Wilbanks said the new Google Chromebooks should arrive sometime around next month.

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The school district has been spending federal COVID-19 relief money and a $700,000 grant from the Gwinnett County Commission on digital equipment for students.

More than 177,000 students are enrolled in the Gwinnett school district, which distributed about 70,000 Chromebooks last year to students. The school district also bought 16,000 wireless hotspots for students who lacked internet access at home, Wilbanks said.

About 45% of Gwinnett students are learning virtually this semester.

“As far as we know, every single family that did not have internet access was given or loaned a hotspot, and that loan is probably a permanent loan,” Wilbanks said Friday. “Hopefully, with that and the purchase of the additional Chromebooks, then there will be no one that really doesn’t have access.”

Families without computer or internet access for virtual learners should let their schools know, Wilbanks said.

“We’ll try to make sure that is taken care of,” he said.