Coronavirus New Jersey: West Deptford Students Pick Up Chromebooks For Remote Learning At Special Drive-thru Event

WEST DEPTFORD, N.J. (CBS) — Remote learning is the new normal for students as the COVID-19 outbreak leaves schools shuttered to stem the spread. But for some students without a computer, that can be a difficult task.

Hundreds of cars lined up outside of West Deptford Middle School to collect Chromebooks and homework packets.

This comes after Gov. Phil Murphy announced remote learning will continue for at least the next few weeks.

“We basically have about 1,000 laptops that we need to deliver out to first- through fourth-graders,” West Deptford Superintendent of Schools Greg Cappello said.

But how can you distribute 1,000 laptops all while keeping staff safe?

The West Deptford School District figured out a way Thursday afternoon, with three drive-thru stations.

“One station where the parents check-in, we get their information, they’re issued a paper that identifies them and their student. They bring it to the second station where the laptop is delivered,” Cappello said.

And at the final station, parents picked up their child’s next two weeks of written homework as the district transitions to online learning.

Eyewitness News spoke with one parent who happens to be a teacher adjusting to the big change.

“I’m trying to teach my sixth-graders remotely, as well as teach a seventh-grader, a fifth-grader and a fourth-grader of my own at the same time. So we’re balancing that schedule,” parent Michele Gasparovic said.

As the West Deptford School District adjusts to the new way of teaching and learning parents are grateful.

“This is so smooth and easy and I’m just so appreciative for a district like this. They have communicated with us from the get-go,” Gasparovic said.

The superintendent says the remote learning should not hinder any student from progressing to the next grade.

Gov. Murphy announced Thursday that he will not be prepared to revisit the decision to reopen schools until April 17th at the very earliest.