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AUSD Distributes 2,000 Computers to Ramp Up Distance Learning

  • AUSD Computer Tech William Martinez checks out computers. Photo by Helen Arase

  • AUSD coordinated an assembly line to pass the computer packs from the office to the pickup line at the curb. Photo by Helen Arase

  • AUSD coordinated an assembly line to pass the computer packs from the office to the pickup line at the curb. Photo by Helen Arase

  • AUSD's Raul Ramirez checks each student's name at the computer distribution at Alhambra High School. Photo by Helen Arase

Location

Alhambra , CA

In an effort to ramp up its distance learning program, Alhambra Unified School District employees distributed nearly 2,000 computing devices, many of them Chromebooks by Google, at a number of its campuses on Tuesday. 

The distribution was a complex logistical effort. The first step required parents or students to complete a Device Request Form available at the school district’s web site. An app was also created to help facilitate the check-out process. Each device being loaned was first checked to make sure it was in good working order. Then it was cleaned and sanitized and placed in a two-gallon plastic bag with a power cord. The bag was then tied and the student’s name was placed on the bag. And that was how the devices were distributed — using safe distancing protocols — at each school.

Alhambra High School had requests for at least 175 devices and distributed them on a drive through appointment basis from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday. By 11 a.m. more than 50 had been distributed at AHS. The computer pick up point was staffed by teachers and service personnel.

At Ynez Elementary School in Monterey Park, which has also been one of the three distribution points for the district’s “Grab and Go” lunch program, 135 devices were distributed. At Mark Keppel the number was 200.

San Gabriel High School principal Debbie Stone, along with a district employee adept at computer issues, hopped on a school bus and took a number of devices to Garvey Middle School to make it easier for parents and students from Rosemead and El Monte to collect the devices.

AUSD superintendent Denise R. Jaramillo was among district leaders out and about at computer distribution sites. Jaramillo stopped in at every site to connect with staff members and thank them for their efforts.

School board vice president Jane C. Anderson, a former teacher at Monterey Highlands, showed up at her workplace Alma Mater to support the drive. Longtime board member Robert L. Gin was at Brightwood Elementary in Monterey Park.

“Today’s district-wide computer distribution is a snapshot of the all-hands-on-deck, top-to-bottom energy and dedication of our staff  from every department and our Board to Alhambra Unified students,” Jaramillo said in a statement. “We urge students and parents who still need a computer during school closure to fill out the Device Request Form on the AUSD website and if need be, also sign up for free wifi on the site.”

The district believes it has enough devices for any student who needs to borrow one but has not yet scheduled another large distribution effort.

Meanwhile, the school lunch program continued on with Monday’s total of over 1,500 lunches served being the high point in the program that is just over a week old. Tuesday’s total reached 3,844, more than twice Monday’s total. Again, the program for all students in the district is being conducted at three schools each day this week from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and offers both breakfast and lunch options. In addition to Ynez Elementary, Marguerita Elementary and Ramona Elementary in Alhambra are participating in the program.

Spring break in for AUSD is scheduled for March 27-April 7 and the “Grab and Go” lunch program will be on hiatus during that time period.

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