Demand for laptops, computers in the age of virtual learning

TUSD prepares for new start date

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Tucson Unified School District has announced its first day of school will be on Aug 17,2020. 

Governor Doug Ducey announced Monday the start of the school year is delayed to allow schools across the state more time to prepare, implement safety measures and plan for remote learning options during COVID-19. Some parents said the delay isn’t enough and don’t want their children going back to the physical classroom.

"Even if they push it, keep pushing it to a later part of the fall," said parent Shiela Ekim. "It's there, the virus is there."

Other parents feel safe seeing their children return to the classroom this fall.

"They're an amazing group of educators and I have not doubt that they will be able to pull it off," said parent Ashley Maina-Lowe. "I know that my kids need a sense of normalcy and they really wanna go back."

Maina-Lowe said she believes the schools will be prepared.

"I trust my teachers at the schools to do everything they can to follow CDC guidelines and to ensure proper social distancing," she said.

Schools can choose to begin classes online before the state's delayed start date. There are some resources for schools in need of technology for virtual learning.

Arizona Students Recycling Used Technology, also known as AZ StRUT, refurbishes electronics it receives from businesses and individual people. The laptops and computers are then donated to various groups including schools across Arizona.

"We give out to Arizona schools, nonprofits, or Title I families," said AZ StRUT Executive Director Tom Mehlert. "We don't do individual families right now because of the whole COVID challenge."

The group is based in Mesa but hopes to expand to southern Arizona. Mehlert said they’ve donated about 2000 laptops to schools and nonprofits since March. AZ StRUT hopes to expand with a location in southern Arizona and is currently looking for a large warehouse space to rent out.

The nonprofit group takes all electronics in old, new, broken or working condition. School districts and nonprofits can submit a request form if they’re interested in getting a donation of laptops, computers or tablets and individuals can find information to donate on the AZ StRUT website.

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