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PSS to distribute over 10,000 laptops, iPads for remote learning

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THE Public School System will distribute over 10,000 laptops and iPads to students starting Sept. 8, Tuesday, when public schools reopen for remote learning.

Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada said they will require parents and students to sign a Memorandum of Understanding/ Technology Loan Agreement.

Under the MOU, a parent or legal guardian and the student should use resources provided for PSS courses for authorized purposes only.

“With all the devices and electronics in place, we anticipate full remote by Oct. 5, our target date,” Ada said.

Each school has a plan to distribute the laptops/iPads and Mifis.

To prevent the spread of Covid-19, PSS will implement remote learning to allow continued learning while allowing for social distancing as recommended by public health officials.

Students are expected to participate in both “synchronous and asynchronous modes of instruction.”

Dr. Bobby Dela Cruz, PSS director of instructional technology and distance education, said synchronous learning involves real-time classroom lessons with teachers and classmates through video conferencing via Blackboard Collaborate. 

In asynchronous learning, he added, teaching materials will be posted online and students will complete activities on their own.

PSS will conduct student/parent orientation throughout September, Commissioner Ada said.

Teachers will also conduct student assessment on social emotion, reading and math at the scheduled orientation, he added.

“There are so many moving variables that will take place in this new school opening,” Ada said. “I am pleading to the public for patience and understanding. Student safety is our priority and is non-negotiable.”

Student registration  is still ongoing and will continue throughout the month.

Ada shared with parents and students the following words of  encouragement from U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos:

“This Covid-19 crisis intensifies feelings and fears like never before. But let me suggest to you something greater than fear: faith. We parents know that tension between faith and fear all too well. That first day of school is a leap of faith in our kids and in each other; faith in our kids to remember all that we teach them; faith in adults to be good stewards of our children’s formative years; faith in ourselves to trust that our children will do the right thing when we are not around — and fess up when they don’t. We parents can be fearful, but we can be faithful too.”

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