Hamden schools distributing Chromebooks to students who need them for distance-learning during coronavirus outbreak

New Haven

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Schools in Hamden are loaning computers out to families who don’t have them so students can take part in the district’s distance learning program.

“It will be very helpful,” said mother Ariana Reis. “Get them on track, get communication, get to see the teachers, answering questions and hopefully help the students continue on the learning path.”

More than a hundred families are borrowing Chromebook laptops at the Church Street School. The Hamden school district is loaning them out to families who don’t have computers at home.

“Our school is fortunate,” explained Church Street School principal Karen Butler. “We have over 200 Chromebooks for our students on a regular basis, but we did order new ones as well so we can make sure every student has access.”

Related Content: Transition to distance-learning in Hartford public schools underway

They are doing everything they can to be safe during the handoff. Parents who drive up don’t leave their cars, they stay a safe distance apart. They even split it up so that folks with last names starting with certain letters come one day, different letters the next, to avoid overcrowding.

Once everyone is properly equipped, the district is going to start holding online classes using Google Classroom.

“It’s much easier having the Chromebook,” said mother April Ruzzuti, with her son in the backseat. “He’s much more involved with what they’re doing at school on a day to day basis, instead of just picking things out of a book and trying to figure it out from there on your own. Much more helpful.”

Meanwhile, the school is helping kids stay positive and motivated by putting out their own YouTube video with messages from teachers and staff.

“It’s just been a real learning experience for all of us,” Butler said. “I think that teachers, by and large, have embraced it and said, you know what? This is exciting.”

Exciting, just from a safe distance.

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