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Chromebooks provided to North Attleborough students to assist with distance learning

Joseph Bernard—an IT with the school district’s technology department—hands a Google Chromebook to a parent at the Roosevelt Avenue School on Monday, April 6. Parents of students in grades three through five were given Chromebooks to take home, so students could continue learning during the school closure. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

By Max

School staff have expanded the distance learning available to students by providing Google Chromebooks for the duration of the closure caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Chromebooks were issued to high school students in 2018, and last year, this was done for grades three through five. Normally, elementary classes don’t take their Chromebooks home, but the decision was made to provide them to the students until schools can reopen. The district launched an extended learning web site with lessons for grades K-12, as well as English Learners, and many teachers utilize video chats to stay in touch with their classes.

Director of Technology Gideon Gadette said the devices would be distributed by Thursday, and while it had been a challenge to get them ready, he credited his seven-person staff for the work they had done.

I’m very proud of them,” he said.

Gaudette added that a lot of work had gone into the extended learning site, and it wasn’t without challenges. Prior to this, the only distance learning done was when a teacher posted something to Google Classroom. He said that Superintendent Scott Holcomb and Assistant Superintendent Michelle McKeon had done a lot to ensure students could continue their education.

This really snuck up on us,” he said of the pandemic’s impacts.

At the Roosevelt Avenue School, parents lined up to get the Chromebooks and catch up with Principal Jeannine Magliocco. She said that using Google Hangouts has allowed students to talk to their teachers and the central office has done a good job keeping everyone informed.

We’re doing what we can as a school community,” she said.

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