Students waiting on remote learning devices could get them by Dec. 23, chancellor

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza speaks at a news conference at the Office of Emergency Management about the Coronavirus, March 2, 2020. (Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY)

Students still waiting on a laptop or iPad from the Department of Education could finally receive their device before winter break, City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza told parents during a virtual town hall.

“We are on track to deliver the 90 to 93,000 requests that we had at the beginning of the semester, making sure that all of those students have a device before we go into winter break on Dec. 23, “ said Carranza members of CEC 2.

During a press conference on Thursday, Chancellor Carranza told reporters that just over 91,000 students requested devices for remote learning in September. Since then the Department of Education has filled about 65,000 of those requests meaning roughly 26,000 students are still waiting for either a laptop or iPad.   Since schools transitioned to remote learning in March, access to the internet and devices like laptops and iPad has become essential for public school students enrolled in fully remote and blended learning, where children take some of their classes in person at school.

In early October, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that city had ordered 100,000 to supplement the Department of Education 350,000 device inventory. For weeks officials from the Department of Education were unable to give a timeline for device arrival and distribution with Chancellor Carranza repeatedly attributing the delay in part to a national shortage in devices.

During a late November City Council meeting, DOE officials said that the ordered devices would not land in the hands of children for at least another month and revealed that roughly 60,000 students who requested a device in the early fall still had not received one.

In addition, Chancellor Carranza told parents that the DOE has convened a multiagency workforce to work with Wi-Fi service providers to roll out a plan to equip all temporary housing units and public housing units with Wi-Fi capabilities.

Note: This article has been updated to include more recent data on the number of remote learning devices delivered to public school students.

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