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How Can LAUSD Students Borrow A Laptop For The Coronavirus Shutdown? We Have An Answer

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Los Angeles Unified school leaders have promised a laptop or tablet computer to every student in the district who needs one to continue learning during the coronavirus shutdown.

The district is spending $ million to purchase new laptops and Verizon internet hotspots to ensure no student misses out on online lessons.

But since LAUSD made that pledge, the most frequent question I’ve heard — on Twitter, via email, or through my Hearken question box — is this: How do I actually obtain this device for my kid?

Last night, LAUSD administrators offered a short version of the answer. From my tweet:

Schools are receiving their devices in waves.

LAUSD’s priority is getting laptops to high school students first. During a virtual town hall meeting, LAUSD’s Chief Academic Officer Alison Yoshimoto-Towery said that the central office finished distributing devices to its high schools on Monday.

Now it’s up to the schools to give them out over the next week. What that distribution looks like will vary.

For example, Michael Romero — the administrator for Local District South, a region of LAUSD stretching from Florence-Firestone to San Pedro — chimed in to say that all middle- and high schoolers in his area should receive a device by Wednesday.

By Friday, LD South elementary schools will have loaned out all of the devices they have already, Romero said. (It sounded as though the district will have to purchase more devices to ensure every student has one.)

And across the district, Yoshimoto-Towery added that elementary schools will mail more paper-and-pencil assignments to students over spring break.

P.S. — Long Beach Unified has also been distributing Chromebooks to its students over the past week, and encourages any students in that district who still need to borrow one to make appointments with their school.



About the School:

Los Angeles Harbor College is a public community college in Wilmington, California. It is one of two community colleges serving the South Bay region of Los Angeles. LAHC serves mainly students from Harbor City, Carson, San Pedro, Gardena, Lomita, Wilmington, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Laptop Programs:

The Los Angeles College Promise removes the financial, academic and personal obstacles to start your college education.It will seamlessly transition from graduating LAUSD students to full-time LACCD students. This will lead to college completion, enhance social mobility and equity for students, and a more robust local economy.Through L.A. Promise the LAUSD and Charter High Schools can receive one year of free full-time enrollment to all students graduating in  They will also be participating in a Summer Orientation to prepare students for college; assistance completing  Financial Aid forms, a structured class schedule, tutoring, and priority registration.To qualify: 
  • A student must be a graduate of an LAUSD or Charter school.
  • The student must attend a full-time schedule  (12 to 15 units)
  • Complete FAFSA and/or BOGG Fee  Waiver or Dream Act application.
 To apply for the benefits of the LA College Promise, click on this link: Apply for LA Promise Benefits of LACP are:
  •  Waived tuition for two years of full-time college
  • Dedicated support team providing a wide array of academic and student support                        
  • Priority enrollment at any of LACCD's nine colleges    
  • Offers free laptops to first-time Angelino college students.

To know more about laptop programs, click here.

Copyright© My College Laptop all rights reserved.

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Problems With School-Issued Laptops Push Families to Find Solutions

LOS ANGELES — Free laptops were handed out drive-through style at the Southside Church of Christ last month.

Recipients were those who had responded to the Concerned Citizens Community Involvement’s survey, saying they were previously struggling with accessing the internet. Many were students.

What You Need To Know

  • Free laptops were handed out at the Southside Church of Christ in L.A. last month

  • Some parents worry about paying for potential damage to laptops on loan from schools

  • Some students say their school-issued laptops don't work

  • LAUSD released a statement that they remain committed to providing devices and internet access to students who need it

The Concerned Citizens Community Involvement is a south Los Angeles-based nonprofit of the Southside Church of Christ.

“I’m grateful for them giving away free laptops,” said Nathan Ramirez, who goes to Audubon Middle School received one himself.

Like most public school students he had been issued a laptop by the district. However, his mom, Teresa Lira, says that initial computer has some technical glitches that still need work. While they wait for help, Ramirez either shares with his siblings or falls behind.

There is also the issue of returning the computers at the end of the year and the possibility of damage.

“If I’m responsible for, let’s say, my four kids that are in school, and I’m responsible for $1, each of them, then God forbid something happens, a fire in the house happens and all gets damaged, then I’m responsible for paying money that I wouldn’t have,” said Lira.

The man coordinating the giveaway, Chris Baccus, says these concerns are especially prevalent in the neighborhoods around the church.

“Based on where you live, you don’t have the resources, unfortunately, that some other people do in other zip codes, and so it’s our job to stand in that gap,” said Baccus.

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles Unified School District spokesperson released the following statement on the matter: “Los Angeles Unified remains committed to providing devices and internet access to students who need it. Parents should call their child’s school if a device is lost, broken or stolen or if there is a technical issue, and a replacement will be provided. Local Districts have a supply of devices on hand to ensure a timely replacement.”

Coronavirus: LAUSD will not resume in-person classes when school year begins Aug. 18

School districts in need of a sudden rush of technology will likely have to wait.

During a virtual meeting of the Ossining Union Free School District in New York, Superintendent Raymond Sanchez told the school board he is aware of a potential for a five-month gap between placing an order for new technology and receiving it.

“We are going to need to start the timeline about getting computers in hand so when school does open, we have them,” he told the board at the April 14 meeting.

A report from EdWeek, meanwhile, said smaller districts in Massachusetts have requested to purchase technology from Boston Public Schools, unable to source it on their own.

A serious shortage of Chromebooks and iPads has reached its peak, says Lauren Guenveur, senior research analyst for International Data Corp., a provider of market intelligence, who studies devices and displays, tracking and forecasting national and global trends. She sees the sector correcting itself by the end of June, hopefully enabling school districts to get the technology they clamor for in time for fall.

“The demand in March and April has been tremendous,” she says. “Obviously, the shift to at-home learning created demand in the U.S. for Chromebooks and iPads, and to a lesser extent Windows laptops.” The demand really picked up by mid-March, after California and Washington State, followed by New York, went into lockdown. She says, though, that a healthier-than-normal inventory from stockpiles from companies concerned about increased tariffs helped to ease some of the crush. Still, “that inventory was quickly bought up,” she says. Guenveur expects to see high demand, especially for Chromebooks, which represent 65 percent of the educational mobile device market, to last into July.

Consumers suddenly forced to work from home stripped supplies of readily available technology from store shelves. That, combined with the massive surge in demand from schools, has added up to a delay in finding Chromebooks or iPads for districts.

“Most of this is coming down to the supply chain in China,” Guenveur says. “That is where most notebooks and tablets are sourced and shipped.&#; The coronavirus hit China early in , shuttering a large portion of factories and, according to Bloomberg, reducing industrial output from the country by as much as 20 percent. The supply chain is now recovering, with many Chinese provinces nearing percent manufacturing capability, prompting Guenveur to say she expects supplies to start becoming available again in May.

Microsoft declined to comment on its educational technology supply, and a request sent to Dell, makers of one of the most popular Chromebook models, went unanswered.

One important factor in a district’s ability to stock up is its size. “I think it is advantageous to be a larger district because you have the buying power,” Guenveur says. “As with things in high demand, there is a bidding war. If you have money to throw around, you are going to have an easier time.” At the same time, Guenveur expects consumer demand to dramatically decrease, so smaller districts may be able to consider sourcing technology through more traditional consumer channels, whether that be Best Buy or Costco.

Some of the largest districts in the country were already ahead of the demand curve. Los Angeles Unified, the country’s second-largest district, tells LA School Report that it has already spent $ million sourcing Chromebooks and iPads.

“Our goal is to connect every student,” Austin Beutner, superintendent, wrote to parents. “We started in high school, where students will be most able to learn independently, and should reach all elementary schools by May as devices arrive from supply lines around the world.”

Other large districts, from New York to Chicago, have also recently purchased new devices.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the country’s fourth-largest district, had been preparing for the possible closure of schools since early and had an excess of , devices readily available for students, thanks to a $ billion bond issue in

“More than , mobile devices, including phones with Wi-Fi that serve as hotspot for connectivity, are in the hands of students and being used for distance learning,” said Jackie Calzadilla, Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesperson. “Our principals continue to contact parents to ensure that every child has the needed digital tools to facilitate online learning, including students who are homeless or live in migrant camps.”

Having already moved forward on technology, Calzadilla says, the district has no plans to acquire new products.

With the normal peak of school district buys happening in the second and third quarters, anyone needing a device right now — or into this summer, for that matter — may be stuck waiting.

This article was published in partnership with The Sign up for The 74’s newsletter here.


Free laptops lausd

Letters to the Editor: Give books to every student in addition to distance-learning laptops

To the editor: Yes, students are losing vital learning opportunities due to lack of resources. Children in low-income families have limited access to computers for schoolwork, and parents are struggling to balance work, distance learning and the stress of the pandemic.

Sadly, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s efforts do not include a great solution to these issues: access to books.

We know that in many communities, there is one book for every students. We also know that reading is good for you — it leads to more reading, expands vocabulary and helps with anxiety. Reading lowers your heart rate and relaxes you physically; it helps you escape reality and eases tension.

Implementing a plan that encourages reading for pleasure would help students and families both academically and emotionally.

We know that most middle-class and affluent homes have an abundance of books for the family. Struggling families should have the same. Books don’t require internet access, cords or software. The battery never runs out.

Any meaningful, impactful plan going forward is remiss if it does not include increasing access to engaging books.

Rebecca Constantino, Los Angeles

The writer is founder and executive director of the literacy advocacy group Access Books.

LAUSD to open first 2 of 25 COVID vaccination sites Tuesday for students, families - ABC7


Microsoft Home Use Program

District employees can purchase the latest Microsoft Office suite for their personal use computers (which includes two installations). All that is needed is a valid LAUSD email account and a special code that we provide. Products included in this offer are: a) Office Professional Plus and and b) Office Home and Business and (for Mac). Learn more

Verizon Wireless Service

District employees are eligible for the Verizon discounts including a) 18% off monthly charges (varies by plan) and b) 25% off accessories except (not including those made by Apple). For more information call or visit any Verizon Wireless store. Learn more


T-Mobile Wireless Service

District employees looking to switch their service to T-Mobile are eligible for T-Mobile Work Perks: a) $10 off for 20 months on Magenta Plus rate plans with taxes and fees included, b) free Netflix or Quibi service, c) unlimited talk, text and data, d) free Mobile HotSpot data (first 20Gb at LTE speeds) and international coverage in + countries with free texting & unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi . For more information, call and mention where you work. For questions on the discount program email [email protected], or click here to learn more.


AT&T Wireless Service

District employees are also eligible for the special offers on AT&T wireless service, including a) 17% off monthly charges for eligible voice and data plans, and b) $75 savings with new service credits. For more information, and go to or visit any AT&T store (have proof of employment on hand such as a pay stub or official District ID badge). Refer to customer FAN #


Apple Equipment

Apple offers special education pricing on Apple computers, software, and select third-party products to college students, parents buying for a college student, teachers, home school teachers, administrators, and staff. Students who have been accepted to a college or university are also eligible. Discounts vary by product. Learn more


Dell Equipment

LAUSD employees are eligible for discounts on Dell computer products. Discount varies by product. Learn more

Lenovo Equipment

Employees are eligible for discounts on Lenovo computer products. Discounts range from 5 – 50%, depending on the product. Learn more

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LAUSD shifts gears on technology for students

Los Angeles school district officials have allowed a group of high schools to choose from among six different laptop computers for their students — a marked contrast to last year’s decision to give every pupil an iPad.

Contracts that will come under final review by the Board of Education on Tuesday would authorize the purchase of one of six devices for each of the 27 high schools at a cost not to exceed $40 million.

In the fall, administrators, teachers and students at those schools will test the laptops to determine whether they should be used going forward.

What they learn will affect the future of an ongoing effort to provide computers for all students in the nation’s second-largest school system.

“The benefit of the new approach is clear,” said Los Angeles Unified school board member Monica Ratliff, who chaired a panel that reviewed the technology effort. “Why would we treat all our students — whether they are a first-grader or a high school freshman — as if they all had the same technology needs? They don’t To have a one-device-fits-all approach does not make sense.”

That was not the logic a year ago, when the school board, with little discussion, authorized a $million contract with Apple that was expected to expand to at least $ million. An additional $ million was earmarked for upgrading Internet connections.

At the time, officials stressed the advantages of managing only one device and cost savings from a bulk purchase.

The rollout of the iPads last fall at 47 schools, however, was beset by challenges, controversy and some mistakes.

Students immediately deleted security filters so they could freely browse the Internet. The district recalled the devices at several schools and some students never saw them again. Distribution of the devices quickly fell behind schedule. Senior staff also incorrectly characterized terms of the contract — saying, for example, that the district owned the curriculum. Instead, the contract purchased a three-year license and the materials were incomplete during the first year.

“We had the right urgency, but urgency can be the enemy of necessary scrutiny,” said school board member Steve Zimmer. “Now our challenge is to maintain the urgency while getting the details right.”

Districtwide distribution of the iPads is on hold, although some schools still are scheduled to receive them in the fall.

How well the various devices function will be examined by both staff and outside reviewers. Curriculum from three different vendors also are being tried: Pearson; McGraw-Hill/StudySync; and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

“Let’s see what works from letting the people in the field — the teachers, the students and the parents — tell us what works,” said Thomas Rubin, a consultant for a committee that oversees the spending of school-construction bonds.

The initial money to pay for the technology is coming from voter-approved bonds. Officials have not yet identified funding to sustain the $1-billion-plus effort. Three of the laptops being tried in the high schools are likely to cost more than the iPads. A different style of laptop, called a Chromebook, would cost less.

Teachers and students at the high schools sent delegations to try out devices and meet with vendors at district headquarters.

It wasn’t a perfect process. The curriculum, for example, was hard to assess in a process akin to speed dating, said one participant.

The laptop options impressed Carolyn McKnight, the principal at East Los Angeles Performing Arts Magnet, one of five schools at the Torres complex. Two chose the Lenovo Yoga Touch, two the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and the last, a Dell Latitude E

A few other campuses chose Chromebooks.

“The Surface is really sexy, but I was concerned about the detachable keyboard, about students losing or breaking it,” McKnight said.

Some of the devices are hybrids, combining features of a touch screen tablet with traditional strengths of a laptop, such as multiple ports and the ability to run several programs at once.

The deadline for making selections was Friday. McNight chose the Lenovo for her school. She liked being able to flip the screen to the other side for use as a camera, and the option of writing on the screen with a stylus.

McNight hadn’t been as impressed with the iPad, which many of her students used for taking new state standardized tests in the spring. The school also had some older laptops available for the exams.

“Students were more comfortable on the laptop because of the amount of writing and the size of the screen,” she said. “It was really hard to see the whole problem on the iPad.”

Final prices for the devices were being worked out in negotiations last week.

The upcoming trial received praise from some members of the panel that oversees bond spending. This panel clashed at times with senior officials over the iPad contract.

“We are pleased that they are looking into options to do the best job and get the most for the money,” said committee member Barry Waite. “It’s never good to be stuck to one technology or device.”

[email protected]

Twitter: @howardblume


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