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Leon County School Board to discuss how to provide smart devices, meals to students

Posted at 6:35 PM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 18:35:18-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The school year has officially come to a close, but Leon County Schools is still making major decisions about the future.

Those plans will be discussed Tuesday evening at their virtual school board meeting.

Chief items on the itinerary include superintendent Rocky Hanna's plan to provide all LCS students with remote learning devices. Hanna said he would present a proposal to the school board allowing students to have devices to carry to and from school.

The estimated price tag for this is $10.5 million, reflective of a little over a $2 million for the district each year.

This comes after seeing the digital divide among students when forced to move online do to COVID-19.

"We can't lose children just because they don't have the funding in their household to have a device in their hand," said Alva Striplin, a member of the Leon County School Board. "We just can't allow that to happen. So the superintendent is making a bold gesture."

As summer kicks into gear, a vote for restocking food pickup sites and emergency meal kits for students and families in need is also on the table.

The emergency meals restock will total up to about 900 cases of meal kits. That will cost the district almost $60,000, but Striplin says students need this, especially with summer camps and schools being shut down.

"Our kids are really in crisis, the ones that rely on those meals from their schools," said Striplin. "We want to do everything we can to ensure no child goes hungry this summer."

As LCS looks towards kids coming back in the fall, Georgia schools are tackling how to reopen.

The Georgia Department of Education and the public health department putting together a "Path to Recovery" plan for schools.

That plan lays out guidelines for grades K through 12 on prevention, student transport, school entry and even moving from class to class.

A major point in the plan is protecting students and teachers that are the most vulnerable.