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West High School in Salt Lake City handing out laptops to students

West High School administrators and Salt Lake City Police are handing out laptops to students, who need them to complete their online classes. Many students at the school do not have access to a computer at home even though classes have been moved online because of COVID-19. (Photo: Kelli Pierce)

SALT LAKE CITY – West High School in Salt Lake City had to move their classes online last month because of COVID-19.

That posed a problem, according to Assistant Principal Ronald Litteral, because many students do not have a computer at home.

“There are 600 students that haven’t logged on to the program that we use, which is called Canvas. We have…teachers that are calling to try and locate the students to do what we can to help them get through the coursework,” Litteral said.

That’s why Litteral, along with Salt Lake City Police, went door-to-door on Wednesday handing out laptops to students.

West High School administrators had handed out laptops a few weeks earlier for students to take home, but not everyone got the notice. That’s why at least one teacher has been delivering laptops to her students who are not yet fluent in English.

Another issue the school faces is getting kids online.

“Some of them are struggling to get access to the internet…So, one of the internet providers has provided a deal for students [that] for 60 days they can get free internet,” Litteral said.

The school also handed out some personal internet hot spots to students.

Litteral hopes the laptops will help students graduate on time.

“We want our kids to be successful. We want our kids to be able to have an educational experience as close to what they would get if they were here on campus,” Litteral said.