On Friday Tangipahoa Parish School Superintendent Melissa Stilley said that the first three “soft start” days of school have gone smoothly, and the district’s plan to distribute more than 20,000 Chromebooks to students is off to a great start. Stilley said district employees deserve all the credit for this year’s incredibly smooth start. Over the next three weeks, students will receive Chromebooks, which they will be assigned to use for classwork and home studies. The devices are being distributed in four waves. The first wave continues through Aug. 21 and will focus on putting devices in the hands of approximately 9,000 students in 7th-12th Grade, as these students are currently scheduled to attend classes virtually until the state moves out of Phase 2 of the COVID-19 response. In the second wave of device distribution, Chromebooks will be sent home with approximately 3,100 students in Grades PreK through 6 whose families have chosen to enroll them in full virtual classes. By the end of August, students in 3rd-6th Grade who attend classes on campus will receive their Chromebooks. There are approximately 5,800 students who will be served in this third wave of device distribution, and then the following week, students in PreK through 2nd Grade who attend school on campus everyday will receive their devices.
In addition to Chromebooks, the district will have mobile hotspots available for families who request one. Stilley said families who would like to receive a mobile hotspot need to do two things—complete the mobile hotspot survey on the TangiSchools.org home page and when called to pick up your hotspot, bring the signed form that is required to receive the device. Only one hotspot will be assigned to each requesting household. In addition to technology devices, the district is gearing up to provide drive-thru lunch sites for students who attend the district’s full virtual program.
Beginning on Tuesday, Aug. 18, curbside meals will be available from 10 a.m. until noon at three designated locations: Hammond High Magnet, Independence High Magnet, and Jewel Sumner High School. Meals will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays for any virtual-enrolled student. The district does require a curbside meal pick up form to be completed before meals can be retrieved. That form is available on the TangiSchools.org home page as well.