As COVID-19 Keeps Schools Closed, Haverhill Chromebooks About to go to Students’ Homes

Chromebooks, similar to what is shown here, are used by Haverhill students. (Courtesy photograph.)

Haverhill students without a Chromebook at home can expect one from Haverhill Public Schools by the end of the week.

With a plan to resume some form of formalized education within the next two weeks, the coronavirus is creating a brave new world for teachers and students alike. Chromebook computers and the internet are becoming the new classrooms for Haverhill students. School Superintendent Margaret Marotta explained to School Committee members how it was going to work.

“We are going to be going back to school. It’s going to be a new school, a different school, a different way of doing school. But it will be school and there will be expectations for both teachers and students,” Marotta said.

Marotta said that in order to be successful, all students will need to have computer access and an internet connection, so the administration has been calling students and parents to find out who does not have access to both. She said at this point, they believe they have a pretty good idea of what the need will be and they are getting ready to make Chromebooks available to anyone who needs one.

“We’re hopeful that over the next couple of days we’re going to have a really good idea of how many Chromebooks we need, where we need those Chromebooks and we’re hoping that next Friday will be the distribution day for those Chromebooks, so that the following Monday, we can hit the ground running,” the superintendent said.

The superintendent said the Chromebooks, which will be sanitized and fit with parental controls before distribution, were chosen because they do not store any information and work strictly as a conduit. She also told the committee that Comcast is providing free internet through its Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots access during the coronavirus crisis.

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