SLC School District to lend desktops to cover laptop shortage

Sep 3, 2020, 1:08 PM

laptop shortage SLC schools...

(Exterior of West High School, one of the schools seeing a laptop shortage. Credit: Paul Nelson)

(Exterior of West High School, one of the schools seeing a laptop shortage. Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY — Educators are trying a different way to fix the student laptop shortage in the Salt Lake City School District.  One member of the district’s board doesn’t think the stop-gap measure will be enough to meet demand.

Since news of the laptop shortage broke, the district has received roughly 1,300 donated devices.  District spokesperson Yándary Chatwin says they got 1,100 laptops from one of their vendors, another 100 from the Salt Lake Education Foundation, and 100 iPads.  However, those donations still don’t cover the gap of 6,000 laptops the district had ordered but hasn’t yet received.

So, Chatwin says their IT department is preparing to lend their desktops from their computer labs to students impacted by the laptop shortage. 

“If we can get students started on desktops, we can swap them out when the laptops arrive,” she said.

The laptop shortage came unexpectedly

Will this be enough to handle the demand?  It’s hard to say.  Chatwin says they asked parents earlier in the year if they believed they would need a laptop in the fall, and 60 percent more families came to collect one than had indicated that they needed it.

“We’re hopeful we can meet the gap between [the desktops] and the help of community partners who have already stepped up to make sure that we’ve got additional laptops ready,” she said. 

Criticism for the plan

Board of Education Representative Michael Nemelka has been a vocal critic of the district’s plan to use strictly online classes for the first quarter.  He says he still believes it’s a lazy way to teach.  Plus, he says the board received warnings a shortage was possible.

“They should have started ordering them a long time ago.  We don’t have enough computers for the west side,” he said.

Even if you took all of the computers from all of the labs, Nemelka still doubts it would be enough.  He believes students who don’t get a device should receive permission to attend class in person, as long as they follow proper safety guidelines.

“I think there are a lot of teachers would welcome them there [as long as] they mask,” he added.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

A lone American flag waves in the morning breeze Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2002, at the Bonneville Salt F...

Allessandra Harris

Water may be the solution to saving the salt flats

With the Bonneville Salt Flats eroding, newly discovered research may have found a way to save them.

7 hours ago

utah capitol pictured, a new law centers adoption legal expenses open records utah...

Curt Gresseth

Bill creating Utah AI lab advances, would test tech, prevent missteps

SB 149 would create an AI lab and test technology while protecting the public in Utah.

1 day ago

The block U appears on the University of Utah, the school will no longer require sat or act scores...

Heather Peterson

University of Utah indefinitely pauses SAT and ACT admissions requirements

The University of Utah paused its SAT and ACT requirements two years ago, but the policy has now been extended indefinitely.

2 days ago

Shane Romano and Sami Sowers take a rest in the shade at Sunnyside Park in Salt Lake City, Tuesday,...

Mark Jackson

SLC Council considering proposal to lease section of neighborhood park to University of Utah

SLC Council is considering a proposal to lease a little over an acre of Sunnyside Park to the University of Utah for a new baseball stadium.

2 days ago

school bus is snowy, cache county school district apologized for not having a snow day...

Jessica Lowell

Cache County School District apologizes for not holding a snow day

The Cache County School District decided to hold a regular school day on Tuesday despite weather conditions. 

2 days ago

utah senate shown, microschools in utah getting new regulations...

Heather Peterson

Bill regulating microschools in Utah heads to governor’s desk

Microschools in Utah would be treated more like a business and less like a school under a proposed law.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

SLC School District to lend desktops to cover laptop shortage