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SAISD provides way for students to connect to school from home

The district has accelerated its plan of providing computers to all of its students.

SAN ANTONIO — A line of cars stretched around the south side of Thomas Jefferson High School on Friday. They weren't there to pick up meals; there was a different line on other side of the school for that. These San Antonians were picking up laptop computers. 

Patti Salzmann, the chief academic officer for San Antonio Independent School District, said that the district's plan is for all of its students to be able to engage in online learning. It was already a long-term plan, but that plan was accelerated. 

The district ordered 30,000 new Chromebooks to be able to supply every student in the district with the devices they need. The new computers are coming in waves, but the district hopes to have them all distributed within two weeks. 

Once the computers are set up by the district's technology department, they are sent to individual schools, which then distribute them to students.

Credit: Mat Gaskins
Cars line up outside Thomas Jefferson High School to pick up the new laptops for students

Online education will allow students to learn in their own time, at their own pace, but it will still include a virtual classroom experience. Salzmann said the online learning environment is about more than just academics. 

"During crises, the level of stress in the home increases," she said. "Socialization and community is very important to students, and we know that many get their socialization and community from their school."

Credit: Mat Gaskins
A stack of laptops that were handed out to SAISD students.

Salzmann said getting students connected to their teachers is a top priority right now. She expects to see advances in online teaching continue to be used within the district, even after students return to normal school attendance.

For the latest on what the district is doing to help families, bookmark this page specifically set up for updates.

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