Students in Boston have been home for more than a week since Mayor Marty Walsh ordered the city’s public schools to close through at least April 27, but Superintendent Brenda Cassellius acknowledges thousands of kids still don’t have the resources they need to learn online.
“This is something none of us have done before,” Cassellius told Jim Braude Tuesday on WGBH News’ Greater Boston. “We’re leaps ahead of some other districts, but we still have so much more yet to do.”
As many as 10,000 Boston Public School students may still be waiting for one of the Chromebook laptops the district is providing to families who do not already have a computer at home on Tuesday, according to a report from "The Boston Globe."
“Because of the quick nature of us having to close, we weren’t able to send home computers to everybody,” she explained. “We have them now and we’ve been home-delivering them.”
But Cassellius said the process hasn’t been as simple as it sounds.
“Sometimes we’ve gone to homes and [parents] haven’t been there, sometimes addresses have not been updated into our system, so we’re working through all those kinks now and we’re trying to get to every single one of our students,” she said.
Cassellius, who spent eight years as the Commissioner of Education for Minnesota before coming to Boston, said she thinks the changes schools are making now will affect the way kids learn long after the coronavirus crisis is over.
“Now that children will have the tools — because every child will get a computer or have one — this is going to change the way we instruct,” she said. “I think that we’re in this for the long haul. I think this is going to shift, fundamentally, the way that we educate children today.”
“You know, they say, 'build the plane while you’re flying it.’ That is what we’re doing,” she added.