In light of the statewide transition to online learning, Horizon Science Academy of Lorain staff members, fitted with gloves and masks, helped give out Chromebooks to students and their families during a drive-thru distribution April 4 in the school’s parking lot, 760 Tower Blvd.
Assistant principal Jayson Bendik said the school distributed 150 laptops that day and continued giving them away on April 5.
The drive-thru distribution, which allowed families to stay in their cars while they gave their information and received their laptops, was sparked by a survey the school sent out to families in mid-March.
Families filled out a Chromebook device waiver form beforehand, Bendik said.
The school originally had prepared 10 days worth of material for students to take home around March 13, but had to change plans as the state’s restrictions regarding schools tightened, he said.
That survey pointed to laptops as the community’s greatest need as far as online learning goes, Bendik said.
“It’s mainly for our neediest families,” he said.
With 300 laptops available for distribution, Bendik said as many as 600 students expressed a need for technological resources in the survey, whether it’s an iPad, smart phone or laptop.
Since the need is so high, the school is asking for community members and businesses to donate any Chromebooks for families in need as well.
With online learning officially starting for the school April 6, Bendik said providing the laptops allow parents, teachers and students to maintain more stability during an uncertain time.
“We want to create a system for our parents at home give them some guidance, give them a little bit of a break for planning things and give them some academic structure and support,” he said.
Jacquelyn McCurdy, 59, of Lorain, was one of the mothers who came through April 4 to pick up a laptop.
McCurdy said the laptop was for her daughter Janae, who will share it with her two brothers.
“I came to get the Chromebook for my daughter because they really have a good program,” she said of the school. “They’re working with her on her lesson plans.
“I love the school.”