Coronavirus shelter-in-place: SFUSD students get Chromebooks on loan to help with distance learning

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Bay Area schools are closed indefinitely and students are now distance learning from home during the novel coronavirus pandemic. But not all of them have the tools they need.

RELATED: California schools may stay closed through end of school year, superintendent says

SFUSD students are now getting some big-time tech support as the new "distance learning" hasn't been easy for everyone.

"It's been confusing mostly, I don't know what's going on," said one student.

This week, students are getting Chromebook laptops. The computers are on-loan to students who may not have the tools they need at home.

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"She needs something to help her focus," said parent Manisha Jones.

Jones is grabbing one for her daughter.

The district says up to 4,000 students may not have access to electronic devices.

"Starting on April 13, we're going to engage all students in district with required course taking. In order to do that, we need to give all students the opportunity to be connected to digital learning," said SFUSD spokesperson Gentle Blythe.

$4 million in private donations made it possible to purchase thousands of laptops.

RELATED: SF Bay Area libraries expand online services after closing

The donations have also provided thousands of free grab-and-go meals for hungry students during the shelter in place order.

"It's a little piece of school, gets me motivated because we use them in school," said student Carlos Ramirez.

Manisha says she never knew life would throw such a curveball, she's now focused on her daughter's health and safety.

"I want my daughter to survive, if that's what it takes for my daughter to be at home, so be it, we get to live another day," Jones added.

The laptops will be distributed at 16 SFUSD sites Tuesday and Wednesday.

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