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.

Today’s Top Stories

Education + Schools

SLCC to host Black History Month events....
Waverly Golden

Salt Lake Community College to host Black History Month events

The Salt Lake City Community College is hosting numerous events in recognition of Black History Month including a film viewing and panel.
2 days ago
One of the topics being discussed during the 2023 Utah Legislative Session is how to combat the tea...
Mark Jones

Bill would allow individuals to become teachers without a bachelor’s degree

A bill being discussed on in the legislative session would allow for individuals to become teachers without obtaining a bachelor's degree.
4 days ago
Computer systems in the Alpine School District are being investigated after the district's technolo...
Adam Small

Alpine schools investigating “suspicious” computer activity

The issue involves the Alpine district's computer software. On Tuesday, the district said they noticed suspicious activity.
4 days ago
snow shovel driveway dialysis...
Mark Jones

Cold weather causes late start for Logan City School District Wednesday

The Logan City School District and the Cache County School District will be on two-hour late starts on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
5 days ago
A bill working its way through the Utah Legislature could open the door for online, private, charte...
Adam Small

Non-public-school students could more easily play sports under a new bill

Bill sponsor, Rep. Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan, said the bill would level the playing field for some students.
5 days ago
A group of students at the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf is making blankets for pet dogs and cats...
Allie Litzinger

Students making pet blankets to donate to the Humane Society of Utah

The Kindness Club at Jean Massieu School of the Deaf is making blankets for pet dogs and cats at the Humane Society of Utah.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
SLC School District to lend desktops to cover laptop shortage