Leslie Public Schools prepare for technical issues on first day of class

Leslie schools prepare for technical issues for hybrid learning
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 3:24 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Leslie Public Schools chose to start the school year with hybrid learning.

Most students chose in-person classes for the start of the school year. Nearly 400 students are committing to remote learning.

This means that the staff will have potentially 400 tech support problems that need to be addressed immediately.

With hundreds of students using laptops and Chromebooks to learn, Superintendent Jeff Manthei said the school’s IT department is ready for any calls.

However, Manthei said administration and the IT department are trying to anticipate as much as they can.

He said, “We’ve tried to anticipate as much as we could, but you can never anticipate everything. We actually meet as an admin team about every other day after school to debrief to see what the problems are.”

Leslie schools have given most of their laptops and Chromebooks to students in need. If there is an issue, the school will help.

”We have pulled apart all of our laptop carts in the district. And, those students that have needed them, we make sure they have the technology. At first, we’ll look at it and maybe switch it out with another device. It won’t give them an issue,” Manthei said.

Manthei said teachers will be responsible for helping students through most technological issues.

“If it’s a login issue...if it’s maybe they don’t know how to access their email. Some of that technical stuff. The teacher will be their first line of defense. Our tech department of one guy does an amazing job and is working many extra hours right now and he’ll try to solve any problem past that.”

WiFi access in some areas of Leslie is sparse. To help, families will have access to the schools’ hotspots.

The school is placing hotspot extenders on the outside of the schools, so people can drive up on off hours and access the Internet.

The school has ordered hotspots for students.

The school has also purchased over 600 Chromebooks, but they haven’t received them yet.

Manthei said the order was placed in May and was told it would take three to five weeks.

He said he is hoping to get them into students’ hands by October.

Districts holding classes online are required to make sure all students have Internet access, but students using their own devices to connect are responsible for getting technical help on their own.

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