“It just makes good sense,” Anderson School District 5 Superintendent Tom Wilson said Monday in a phone interview with The Washington Post, explaining that on average, a small percentage of students attend the makeup days that are tacked onto the end of the school year, so the district has eliminated them. “Quite honestly, it’s a waste of money, so we think this is the way to go in the future.”
The superintendent said the school district invested $11 million in Chromebooks over the past several years, providing them to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, “so we think we’re in a position to make it work.”
Following last week’s announcement, parents asked whether the students needed Internet access to complete their assignments and how younger students in grades kindergarten through second grade — who are not permitted to take their Chromebooks home — will be able to do the classwork. Officials with the school district responded on Facebook, saying Internet will not be required — instead, the students can “download assignments to their Chromebooks ahead of time to ensure access in the case of WiFi outage.”
Still, Wilson, the superintendent, said school district officials are working to determine how many children lack Internet access at home and how many younger children may have trouble accessing online assignments. He said younger children may be given assignments, such as reading, that to do not require computers.
Wilson said he understands that there are always “outliers” and that the students who are unable to complete their assignments at home will be given five days to make them up once they return to school.
But the superintendent said the district is “confident that the vast majority of the students will be able to do their work from home.”
When asked whether he had received any pushback from parents — or outraged children — he said the response had been mostly positive, but he added that he expects more questions when the students return to school next month.