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D70 one of many school districts waiting for thousands of laptops ordered months ago

They've only received 1,600 of 4,000 Chromebooks ordered in March.
Posted at 9:16 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 09:21:10-04

PUEBLO COUNTY — With most schools nationwide moving online, it's created a long waiting list for new laptop computers.

At schools in Pueblo County School District 70, teachers and staff are the only people inside full time. Right now for students, they're still relying on school-issued laptops to get them through their day.

"Well this is not the way we anticipated opening our school year at all," D70 spokesperson Todd Seip said. "We've been working on this day since March last year. We knew this day was coming."

Students went back to school virtually on Monday.

"We decided back in July that opening up our schools would be a three-step process," Seip said. "We wanted to get teachers and staff in the building and get them up to speed on the remote learning platforms. And then we wanted to open that up to students online and get everybody used to the remote learning platforms."

Previously, News 5 reported cybersecurity experts recommend using a school-issued computer for safe browsing. D70 recognized this as soon as the pandemic hit.

"We ordered about 4,000 Chromebooks back in March and April when we knew we would probably be going this way," Seip said.

But there's a problem.

"We had 1,600 that showed up about a month ago, but we still have 2,200 that are stuck in a shipping container somewhere in California waiting to go through customs," he said.

By no means is this a problem exclusive to D70. The Associated Press reported schools all across the country are facing the same dilemma.

Even though D70 took action and ordered them early on, the wait continues.

"They said we're about 400 on the list to get through, there's about 300 other schools ahead of us," Seip said.

The good news is D70 has been able to get all their students school-issued computers, just not the Chromebooks yet. Seip said they'd just prefer all students be all be on the same, brand new computers for consistency and technology's sake. He said they're expecting the final Chromebooks to arrive sometime in the next two or three weeks.