Leander ISD begins distributing 6,000 Chromebooks to elementary students

A driver receives a laptop device for a Leander ISD elementary student April 7 at River Ridge Elementary School. (Courtesy Leander ISD)
A driver receives a laptop device for a Leander ISD elementary student April 7 at River Ridge Elementary School. (Courtesy Leander ISD)

A driver receives a laptop device for a Leander ISD elementary student April 7 at River Ridge Elementary School. (Courtesy Leander ISD)

Leander ISD began distributing approximately 6,000 Chromebrooks to elementary school students for distance learning April 7.

LISD staff began handing out devices in the morning at Akin, Parkside, Rutledge, Reagan and River Ridge elementary schools. Devices were distributed at Naumann and River Place in the afternoon.

Either one or two lanes were open at each school for parents to drive up, provide student identification and receive a laptop computer with safe filtering devices already installed.

While middle and secondary students have typically have devices for online instruction, elementary grades do not.

LISD enrolls approximately 18,478 pre-K through elementary students, according to the district. According to Chief Technical Officer Laurelyn Arterbury, there is a 1:1 student/device ratio in grades 3-5, but only a 2:1 student/device ratio in PreK-grade 2. Not all devices are Chromebooks, she added.

Teachers began reconnecting with students on March 25 before sharing information that had previously been studied on March 26. On April 6, LISD students began learning new material, according to the district.

The next two days’ laptop schedule are as follows:

April 8

8:30-11:30 a.m.: Larkspur, Knowles, Faubion, Whitestone, Grandview

1:30-4 p.m.: Bagdad, Camacho, Reed, Pleasant Hill, Cypress

April 9

8:30-11:30 a.m.: Plain, Block House Creek, Westside, Mason, Bush

1:30-4 p.m.: Winkley, Cox, Deer Creek, Giddens, Steiner Ranch

Parents must write this information on a sheet of paper and place it on their dashboard:

  • printed first and last name of parent/guardian;

  • printed first and last name of student;

  • grade of student; and

  • student identification number, if available.

According to a 2019 district survey for students in grades 3-12, approximately 1,000 LISD students in those grades did not have home internet access. Two internet service providers are providing 60-day free trials to homes that lack internet access, according to LISD.

For district families that currently lack internet access, LISD spokesperson Corey Ryan said the district also uses phone calls and text messages in English and Spanish to alert families. LISD is also using mobile apps that allow teachers to call parents and students without sharing personal cell phone numbers.

Families that have difficulties with their devices may submit a help ticket online at http://servicemanager.leanderisd.org or call 512-570-0566.
By Brian Perdue
Brian Perdue is the editor of the Cedar Park-Leander edition of Community Impact Newspaper. A native of Virginia's Appalachian Mountains, he has been a journalist since 1992, living and working in Virginia, Washington D.C., Hawaii's Big Island, Southern California and Florida before moving to Austin in 2019.


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