EBR Parish School System getting parents, students ‘tech ready’ for upcoming school year

EBRPSS getting parents, students 'tech ready' for new school year of virtual learning

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Many students in East Baton Rouge Parish are just days away from virtual learning.

During the first week of August, schools have been distributing Chromebooks and hot spots to students.

The East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS) wants to make sure parents and students are tech ready for the 2020-2021 school year.

“I think for parents you have to be more hands-on now,” said Darrel Jackson, a parent.

Jackson is picking up devices for his children at McKinley Middle School. He says he’s happy students have a safe option for learning, but he is concerned about how lax things may be at home.

“You have parents that work so they’re going to have to come home and make sure that their child is doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and not lollygagging and not just all over the place,” Jackson said.

“A big thing with having families ready is to prepare a place in the home that is designated as a study area,” said Amy Jones, director of technology for EBR Schools.

Jones recommends keeping virtual learning areas out of high traffic areas in the home and away from where pets play.

“Put them somewhere close to WiFi in your home or if you are on a hotspot, then make sure you are close to the outside of your building so that it gets that clear signal,” Jones said.

She says parents using hotspots, which are ways to connect to the internet, should not have to worry about connection issues or what their children are doing online.

“They are filtered through our networks at school, adding a layer of protection that our chrome books also have with the management piece. So devices are filtered and they’re safe for all families and they can rely on that,” said Jones.

“We’re confident that once those parents and students log-in, that they will have the bandwidth that they need adequately from the district level,” said Jones.

Parents can also access an online help desk and tutorial videos to help their children through virtual learning.

“I have to be honest with you, it’s actually mixed feelings because you just don’t know what you’re coming into; you don’t know what it’s going to look like. But just like I try to teach my kids, you have to make the best out of what you have and what you have to deal with.”

Parents can visit techready.ebrschools.org to register for devices or contact their child’s school directly.

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