Schools, students are better prepared for online learning

Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 7:11 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Schools had to act fast to move students to remote learning in March when the coronavirus pandemic hit Wisconsin. School districts and students are better prepared for online classes this fall.

Instead of piling into school buses on September 1, students in the Green Bay Area Public School District will be logging on to their virtual classrooms.

“Many of our older students were able to take Chromebooks home with them at the time of the emergency closure,” Josh Patchak, executive director of technology and information for the school district, said.

Patchak says since March, the district has shipped more than 6,000 Chromebooks -- laptop computers running Google software -- to students and about 1,300 Wi-Fi hotspots to access the internet wirelessly.

He says before the first day of school, the district will have a resource on its website for families.

“They can go to get tips to learn how to help their own children with online learning, help them get them in the advice and acquaint them with them with the platforms.”

The learning setup will be a little different for students in the Unified School District of De Pere, where they'll alternate between online and in-person classes.

“Every student will be in the building two days a week, and they will be learning online the other three days,” De Pere High School Principal Nick Joseph explained.

Joseph says this is the first year every student at the high school was issued a Chromebook. He says the district office is working 1-on-1 with those families who need Wi-Fi or live in rural areas.

In Green Bay, we’re told, 797 students are still in need of a Wi-Fi hotspot to access the internet.

“We’ve had to make a number of orders for the Wi-Fi hotpots. We just need to work together on this and we got this. We got this,” Patchak said.

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