Local schools to let students keep tablets, computers through summer

Hoping to stave off a summer slide that might have actually started this spring, local school districts are letting students keep their tablets and laptops until they return this fall.

Bend-La Pine Schools officials on Tuesday announced 3rd-5th graders could keep their tablets through the summer to promote social distancing and to let the kids continue their learning until they return in the fall.

“If you will be attending a different Bend-La Pine Schools program or school next year, keep the iPad you have and take it with you to your new site in September,” said Skip Offenhauser, executive director of teaching and learning at BLP schools. “Your student will continue to use their iPad as a tool in their education next school year.”

Kelly Jenkins, a spokeswoman with the Redmond School District, said students there will keep their Chromebooks for the summer.

The same thing is happening in Crook County.

“With Facebook’s large grant, we’re now 1-to-1 for technology – meaning every child has his/her own device,” said Spokesman Jason Carr. “We also paid for the license for their students to have access to Imagine Learning – the online curriculum we’ve been using for K-5 students. Basically, every single child enrolled within the Crook County School District has access to technology and resources all summer.”

Families are asked that the kids not take the tablets on any summer trips, camping outings or outdoor recreation activities.

In a letter to parents Bend-La Pine parents, Offenhauser said learning materials would be available on the district’s website throughout the summer.

Families not returning to BLP schools will need to return their tablets and power cords to their current schools. The district will send out information soon for the individual school return schedules.

If plans change and families end up moving out of the area, they’re asked to drop off the iPad and accessories Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon at the district administration center at 520 Wall St. – directly across from the downtown Bend library.

Missing cords are $5 and missing charging bricks are $20.

Summer learning activities are going to be available for students in the elementary and middle school levels. These activities will focus on creative projects that utilize common apps students are already familiar with.

K-5 students will also have access to the Lexia reading program and the Dreambox math program.  All students will have access to Sora, the online library.

“We want to thank our parents for all that you’ve done to partner in your student’s education during this challenging time,” Offenhauser said. “Our hope is that by providing access to your student’s iPad, we will encourage the continuation of learning over the summer months.”

 

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