MANSFIELD, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Using school buses and SUVs, Mansfield ISD staff planned to work late into the evening Wednesday, driving through neighborhoods and delivering computers to students who didn’t have a device for the first day of online classes.
As many as 4,200 students had used an online portal to indicate they still needed a computer in order to start the school year.
The district abandoned a distribution plan that over the last several days often led to parents waiting hours in parking lots.
Direct deliveries are expected to continue daily, but could take until the beginning of next week to complete.
Superintendent Dr. Kimberley Cantu used a video statement to offer an apology to parents, and assure them students would not fall behind while they wait for a device to start school.
“Your students are not missing critical instruction,” Dr. Cantu said in the video. “Teachers will focus on engaging these students and building those relationships while we get through the first several days together.”
MISD had handed out more than 15,000 devices, but was also still collecting them this week from families who used them during the spring.
Those computers couldn’t be handed back out without first being cleaned and reprogrammed for use by new students for the fall. The overlap eventually caused the district to run out of prepared computers Tuesday, though they believe they have enough to meet demand.
The district of more than 35,000 students plans to hold school completely online until at least September 8.
In a school board meeting Tuesday, board members voted to purchase more than 15,000 new computers and 1,000 new hotspots.
Some of them will replace older devices that are more difficult to program.