LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On Friday afternoon, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio gave an update as the first week of Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI), for over 100,000 students in the district, comes to an end. During the update, Pollio said students having Chromebooks has been a game-changer for making NTI work and bridging the digital divide.
Pollio said that every single Chromebook requested by families, 19,961 devices in total, will be shipped out by the end of Friday. JCPS expects to have all devices delivered by early next week.
“And I can’t describe how impactful that is for our students and our families,” Pollio said about students having a Chromebook.
JCPS Chromebooks that otherwise would have sat in schools and collected dust, Pollio said, have been made available to free or reduced lunch students who needed devices.
“To a student who didn’t have access to a device, to now have access to a device, changes learning for kids,” Pollio said.
When NTI started Tuesday, JCPS said in an email Friday morning to Spectrum News 1 that about half of those Chromebooks were mailed out. The other half have continued to be delivered throughout the week.
JCPS is still reaching out to families with students with special needs that are in the Exceptional Child Education (ECE) program to see if they need a Chromebook, as well as a hotspot for internet access. Pollio said JCPS is waiting for the hotspots to be delivered by T-Mobile. He expects that Chromebooks and hotspots for ECE students will be delivered by the end of next week.
To deliver such a large order in a small amount of time, the United States Postal Service had to get nearly 20,000 boxes ready with all hands on deck from USPS and JCPS.
“They had teachers and they had a huge staff that sorted them on pallets by zip code so that we could get them to the exact post office. There about 14 different post offices in Louisville but multiple zip codes,” ￼said USPS Kentucky’s Marketing Operation Manager, Alisa Zanetti.
Zanetti said the daily Chromebook deliveries have ranged from 2,000 to as many as 5,000 a day in specific zip codes.
Pollio said he expects well over 20,000 devices to be shipped out in total once all devices by ECE families have been requested.
Pollio said JCPS is planning for six weeks of NTI right now and will stretch it to eight weeks if needed.
For JCPS families that do not have a device, Chromebook, or internet, JCPS has hard-copies of curriculum available for pick-up at one of its more than 60 emergency food sites across Louisville. Food sites are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 am-1:00 pm.