The Dallas Independent School District handed out IPads and Chromebooks to thousands of families Monday to get them ready for the possibility of remote learning this fall.
Dallas ISD plans to decide this week whether to start school after Labor Day entirely virtual.
The district says it has 46,000 iPads and 14,000 Chromebooks for students. Kids in pre-K through 2nd grade receive an iPad, and students in grades 3-5 receive a Chromebook. Dallas ISD says it also has 32,000 wifi hotspots.
"Of course, we all want to be able to give them that face-to-face instruction," says Rosseven Nava, the principal of Joe May Elementary School. "As humans, it's super important to have those one-on-one relationships. We want to be able to create virtual learning as if we're doing one-on-one."
Monday morning, families lined up outside elementary schools in Dallas to pick up equipment.
"This will make sure my son stays on track with his learning," the father of a second grader said outside Joe May Elementary. "This iPad helps bridge the gap between staying at home and focusing on school work."
He says the family started learning how stay "on track" when distance learning began in the spring. He says his wife is able to work from home to help keep the boy focused.
"You can, kind of, get more relaxed at home and want to hop on YouTube and play games," he says. "It was more just getting around the distractions. As far as him, he's pretty good about keeping on track with the school work. He wants to learn, which is a good thing for me."
Superintendent Michael Hinojosa says he hopes to get broadband internet access to every home by January. He says that could cost $50 million.
Devices will be available at campuses through August 31.