Some JPS students waiting on computers

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Virtual learning is underway in the Jackson Public School District, but some parents are voicing concerns about not having a computer for their children.

The district said it was very transparent in letting parents and staff know that not all students would be able to get a computer right away. JPS leaders said the delay is due to shipping delays from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tawanda Barnes is the parent of a ninth grade Jim Hill student. She said she was not made entirely aware of the situation.

“They didn’t tell us about any delays. All they said was that if you needed a computer when you registered online, there was something you clicked on saying you needed a computer,” claimed Barnes.

In an interview in early August with 12 News, Superintendent Dr. Errick Greene said JPS is readily available with additional tools for young scholars to remain with no internet access or devices at home.

“That includes printed copies of instructional packets that will be delivered and be made accessible week to week, as well as using our cable channel and using YouTube and several other ways to get instructional materials out there,” said Dr. Greene.

“We ended going to the school to get our package that she is to complete for the first week and turn in next week, because something is not, they don’t have it together right now,” stated Barnes.

In order for a student to receive a computer, he or she must be registered at one of the JPS schools. Families with more than one child would have to share.

Barnes said she ended up buying her daughter a computer, but she knows not every family is in a position to do that.

“I don’t blame them for anything. I guess they’re doing the best they can,” she stated.

“More of them will be coming as we get into the fall,” said Dr. Greene. “Like other districts, we’re waiting on shipments to come in with devices and that.”

JPS leaders said the district already distributed thousands of devices to scholars and teachers. They are waiting on several thousand more to be delivered. The district added that it’s collaborating with community partners to fill in gaps of technology needs, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Mississippi, Operation Shoestring, faith based communities and nonprofit organizations.

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