NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As parents wait for Metro Nashville Public School officials to announce their plans for students to return to school, the district has said they are looking at both in-person classes and remote learning options.
"We have to be prepared in the future to pivot in the event that our numbers increase or we see a significant spike in any particular community or across the district," said MNPS Director Dr. Adrienne Battle.
To bridge the digital gap, Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced he was giving MNPS $24 million in federal coronavirus funding to buy a laptop for every student.
The 90,000 new netbooks were supposed to arrive by the start of the school year, but Dr. Battle says due to high demands nationwide this is no longer the case. Instead, they will have to prioritize which students will receive them first.
Metro schools already distributed 10,000 laptops this past spring.
"In regards to the distribution of other devices we will definitely be prioritizing with equity lens as well as with families who may opt for virtual option going into the next school year," said Dr. Battle.
District officials say they're doing their best to level the playing field for students. They are working with Dell to provide the computers sooner and anticipate getting a portion by August with monthly shipments during school year.
The district is also providing mobile hotspots for thousands of families. The district estimates one in five students don't have internet access at home.
The district is expected to announce a final plan on July 6.