Thousands still waiting for Chromebooks, hotspots as Wake County begins 4th week of remote learning

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Thousands are still waiting on Chromebooks or hotspots as Wake County students began their fourth week of remote learning on Tuesday.

Families lined up at Enloe, Apex, and Knightdale High Schools to pick up devices on Tuesday. Zineb Fahim worried she’d wait for hours to pick up a Chromebook from Wake County Public Schools.

“When I first looked at the line, I was about to just abort the whole mission and just turn around,” she said.

Fahim stuck it out, though. Her little brother just started kindergarten and their desktop computer isn’t cutting it when it comes to remote learning.

“I don’t think he feels like it’s school. There’s no camera, so he doesn’t see the teacher. He doesn’t see the other kids,” she explained.

She hopes the Chromebook will change that.

“I think it will help make it more real,” Fahim said.

According to the latest information from Wake County Public Schools, the district has had about 50,000 requests for Chromebooks and distributed about 34,000 of them. It’s also had about 16,000 requests for hotspots and distributed 7,000. Those numbers did not include the devices picked up Tuesday.

The district said it had to cancel distributions Friday because the Chromebook supplier was dealing with an equipment failure that caused a shipping delay.

Families will have another chance to pick up devices Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Apex, Enloe, and Knightdale High Schools. The district said more distributions are planned for next week.

A spokesperson for WCPSS said teachers are being flexible with students who do not have the technology they need for class and are working to keep them engaged.

While some families are frustrated they still don’t have the devices they need, once they can collect their Chromebeooks, Fahim said the line to pick them up isn’t nearly as bad as it looks.

“It goes by very fast,” she said. “The whole process is super simple.”

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