Salt Lake City School District gets boost to help student laptop shortage

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Students in Salt Lake City who are just starting at-home learning this week got a much-needed tool. (Photo: KUTV)

Students in Salt Lake City started at-home learning this week and got a much-needed tool to help them succeed.

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Recently, the district was 6,000 laptops short for students. Now there’s help, but one parent says there are still problems.

The Salt Lake Education Foundation is donating hundreds of laptops. Because they will not cover the full shortage, principals throughout the Salt Lake City School District are tasked to determine which students are most in need. While the donation is welcomed, one parent says the start to the new year has been a nightmare.

Lucy Moreton Hawes, chairwoman of the Salt Lake Education Foundation, says others are trying to make the remote return to learning work, but are failing.

She's in talks with over 250 parents who say this week has been horrible trying to get students online with the different setbacks. The needs of those who feel its best for families to stay home for school are being met, she said.

“...but the other population that wants their child to go to school physically, or wants some other creative way for their child's emotional needs to be met. Those parents are pleading. Really, we are desperate,” Hawes said.

The laptops are being distributed to schools throughout the district.

Highland High School Principal Jeremy Chatterton says he and others are doing everything they can to help and support students and families during this unprecedented time.

As for the laptops, the district is still short but they expect the rest to come next month.