NOLA Public Schools will begin distributing Chromebook laptops to students who need them at home, the school district said Monday in a press release.
Since public schools were ordered shut by Gov. John Bel Edwards last month, many schools have started offering distance learning for their students. That takes many forms and varies by school, but includes things such as links to online resources, virtual office hours, and physical work packets to complete at home.
But because many students do not have access to computers or wifi at home, the Orleans Parish School Board authorized the district’s purchase of 10,000 Chromebooks and 8,000 wireless hotspots for students who need them most. NOLA Public Schools said it has been working with individual schools to assess the needs of their students.
Orleans Parish School Board President Ethan Ashley praised the development.
“I am pleased that the school board approved the use [of] the funds necessary to procure these vital educational resources,” he said. “These laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots will help keep our district on track as our students and families navigate through distanced learning. It is imperative that we continue to provide strong solutions that will allow our students to succeed during this time.”
Schools will handle the distribution of laptops and wireless hotspots themselves. Distribution of laptops will start today, with wireless hotspots following some time in the future, NOLA Public Schools said in the press release.
NOLA Public Schools also announced Monday that rideshare company Lyft is now offering free rides to families picking up grab-and-go meals at food distribution sites in Orleans Parish.
According to a press release from the district, Lyft has donated $5,000 worth of free rides. Starting Monday, families can access the free rides by plugging a promo code into the Lyft app. Here’s how:
- Open the Lyft app
- Tap the menu icon in the top left corner
- Tap ‘Promos’ in the menu that appears
- Tap ‘Enter promo code’ and enter this code: CV19NOLAPS20
- Tap ‘Apply’ to finish
More information on how to use promo codes can be found on Lyft’s website.
The district said about 119,600 grab-and-go meals have been served to Orleans Parish students since the program began March 16. A full list of food distribution sites can be found here. Meals are only offered twice a week — on Mondays and Wednesdays — but families are allowed to pick up meals for multiple days at a time.