Henrico, Va. April 29, 2020 — Henrico County Public Schools has distributed almost 5,000 Chromebook computers to elementary students who needed access to a computer at home during the school division’s closure. HCPS’ closure for the year has made digital materials a centerpiece of education efforts, through Henrico Edflix, HCPS’ new digital distance learning plan. While middle and high school students are issued laptop computers by the school division for use during the school year, Chromebook devices used by HCPS elementary students remained in school classrooms, until now.
Before the April 6-10 Spring Break, HCPS elementary schools surveyed parents and guardians to find out which families needed a computer to use for schoolwork. Families were notified about the process for borrowing a computer, and the Chromebooks were distributed beginning April 16 using a drive-up method, to comply with social distancing practices. There were also a limited number of Wi-Fi hot-spot devices distributed to families who didn’t have home internet access.
“The logistics of the effort required extensive planning to best serve families in a safe and efficient manner,” said Brian Maddox, director of the HCPS Department of Technology. “Over the course of seven weekdays, our team distributed 4,984 Chromebooks to Henrico elementary families in need of technology. By the end of the seven days, we were distributing Chromebooks to vehicles at an average rate of one per minute, which is exceptionally fast and efficient. We also distributed more than 150 hot spots to elementary families without internet service.”
More Chromebooks are slated for distribution. Almost 7,000 HCPS families surveyed said they were in need of a home computer for school use. The computers were pulled from the school division’s storage facility, as well as elementary classrooms, where they are stored on carts. HCPS has enough Chromebooks to meet the need expressed by families.
Henrico Edflix supports the Henrico Learner Profile, HCPS’ blueprint for the skills and qualities students should master to thrive in an interconnected, global society. Find out more about Henrico Edflix at http://blogs.henrico.k12.va.us/hlp/virtual-learning/. Find out more about the Henrico Learner Profile by going to http://blogs.henrico.k12.va.us/hlp/henrico-learner-profile/.