Triangle parents concerned about laptop delays, virtual student schedules

COVID-19 and schools

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Less than a week before school starts, parents in the Triangle prepare to help their children start a virtual school year.

But several families are still waiting to receive their laptops as at least three school districts are experiencing a delay in distribution.

Orange County Schools, Durham Public Schools, and Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools all confirmed that some students’ laptops will not be here by the first day of school.

According to school officials, the delay in distribution is due to an investigation into an alleged labor law violation in China.

A CHCCS official said the delay could be as long as 10 – 12 weeks.

Both DPS and CHCCS officials said they have a sufficient backup supply and that all students will have a laptop by the first day of school.

In an email Orange County Schools sent to parents, officials said first, second and third grade students’ laptops would be delayed.

The district said parents could use their own device if they had one. For parents who need one, the district said they would work to find backup devices for those families.

Tia Ladegast’s daughter Paden-Avery will be a first grader at Efland-Cheeks Global Elementary in Orange County this fall. Thankfully, her family does have a tablet her daughter can use.

“I guess we’re going to use the tablet we have,” Ladegast said. “But if they want to start doing Zoom meetings, that’s what I’m worried about. How is all that going to work?”

Ladegast has three other children in Orange County Schools and she is still waiting to find out if her kids will have zoom classes and if there will be set times for each subject.

“I don’t know where we’re at honestly, I don’t know exactly what we need to buy, and what we need to do,” Ladegast said.

Other parents in Orange County and Wake County have received schedules that include particular times students have to study each subject.

Ladegast said she is concerned about how working parents with young children will be able to make sure their kids properly attend each virtual class.

“I’m a parent who works, my husband works, how are we supposed to find the balance with this?” Ladegast said.

With four children, Ladegast said it will be a challenge to help all four of them with their studies if they have different schedules.

“If one teacher wants to do an 8 a.m. math, and another teacher wants to do an 8 a.m. English, that’s a lot to do at once,” Ladegast said.

CBS 17 reached out to Orange County Schools about questions these parents have about the laptop delay and virtual schedules, but we are still waiting to hear back.

Several school districts are working on providing learning centers children to get help with their assignments while parents at work.

Durham Public Schools will be discussing creating community learning centers at the school board’s work session on Thursday.

In Wake County, the YMCA and other community partners are making learning centers available.

For more information on the YMCA’s learning centers, click here.

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