How can Langley students stay connected if they don’t have access to a laptop or home computer? (Langley Advance Times files)

How can Langley students stay connected if they don’t have access to a laptop or home computer? (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley School District assessing how to help students connect to class from home

Telus, Electronic Recycling Association, and Education Ministry all announced new programs to help

As Langley students swiftly shift from classroom learning to online studies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant snag in the increased use of screens is that many low income families won’t be able to give their child access to a connective device.

Students were initially due back to class on Monday, March 30 after a two week spring break – but coronavirus has put an indefinite lock of school hallways – prompting the use of educational programs such as Google Classroom.

Joanne Abshire, communications manager for the Langley School District, said the district is continuing to develop plans to support students and their technology needs.

“We realize there are some families that may not have access to devices and internet. We are working with our education and community partners to ensure that students will be able to continue learning at-home,” Abshire said.

“This week students and their families were sent a survey asking them questions about their health, safety, and technology needs,” she continued. “They were asked if they had tech devices, access to internet, and if they would require online support.”

Abshire added that teachers are also connecting with students to gather information, and get a sense of what their needs are, in order for the school district to develop plans.

“The district acknowledges that meeting technology needs is important, but we want to emphasize that the health and safety of students and staff is our top priority,” Abshire added.

Other schools have taken to different measures, including Credo Christian High School, a private school that sanitized over 100 laptops and Chromebooks for families to pick up and run connective programming on from home.

READ MORE: Staying connected during the extended school break

Within the past week, a bevy of initiatives to make internet access, devices, and staying connected with classes have sprung up to help students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

B.C.’s Ministry of Education secured and funded licences for the application Zoom for all K-12 public and independent schools in B.C., which will allow consistent access for educators who choose to use it – giving them more ways to communicate with students and parents.

The ministry additionally put together a parent website with resources for them to support learning at home; https://www.openschool.bc.ca/keeplearning.

Telus is starting a new program to provide free Internet to families who need it as well as refurbished devices to families who need them for continuity of learning through the “Internet for Good” program.

The initiative supports thousands of low-income Canadian families with children under the age of majority currently receiving income assistance under the Employment and Assistance Act or disability assistance under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act.

People can visit here to check their eligibility and sign up for the service.

The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) also announced a new program after experiencing a massive increase in online donation requests, primarily from families who, before COVID-19, did not own a laptop or a computer and would utilize their local libraries to gain online access for school work.

Through their new program called “Lending a Lifeline by Lending a Laptop,” the ERA is encouraging as many organizations and companies as possible to send a percentage of their unwanted or used electronic devices to the nearest ERA depot.

Bojan Paduh, president of the non profit, said “We are bunkering down and waiting for the crisis to end. We will ship out as many laptops as we can until we run out but eventually, we will run out. We need the help of individuals and companies throughout Canada now more than ever.”

People can find out more at www.electronicrecyclingassociation.ca.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

CoronavirusLangleyLangley School District

Just Posted

Each week, we are asking Langley’s elected officials to weigh in on an issue of concern to local residents. They are given a deadline and invited to respond with a maximum 250 words on the matter. This time, each member of Langley Township council was invited to respond to this question.
AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley trustees applaud positives found amid pandemic

Q&A: Members of the local school board given chance to address the community on a key local issue

Aldergrove journalist Dean Broughton and his father, Bert. (Special to The Star)
Leave it to Aldergrove resident to tell your living legacy

Journalist Dean Broughton found the importance of family stories by conversing with his father

Langley’s Brie King, seen here playing as a TWU Spartan, was a standout for Canada Saturday, June 12, as the team downed Serbia 3-1. (file)
John Diefenbaker and Dwight Eisenhower at the signing of the Columbia River Treaty, January 1961. (White House Photo Office)
Painful Truth: All elections are a roll of the dice

A federal election is coming, and anything could happen

A worker clears out damaged fixtures from a front office of Coast Capital Savings credit union in Brookswood 4145 - 200th Street on Saturday, June 12, after a car knocked out an exterior roof support beam and smashed in a window. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Car takes out front window of credit union in Brookswood

Witnesses say it happened while the driver was trying to park

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read