Burlington City distributes more laptops to students

BURLINGTON CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Students across New Jersey began a new school earlier this month relying on remote or hybrid schedules to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. But many students in the Burlington City school system still need computers.

Siobhan Moody has three kids in the Burlington City school system. Two of them are high school students who've spent the first two weeks of the school year learning on their smartphones.

"It's been crazy, kind of hard to learn for school," said Moody.

"And some stuff you can't do on the phone," added her daughter, freshman Yanaiah Jones.

That struggle ends Wednesday night. The district handed out another several dozen laptops to students who still didn't have the school device.

"Our laptops have been slow to come in. As soon as they come in we're rolling them back out," said Superintendent John Russell with the City of Burlington Public Schools.

The school district handed out 400 devices last spring and another couple hundred at beginning of the school year.

In a letter, the district thanked parents for their patience, explaining the laptops were ordered back in April, but limited supply slowed distribution.

"We're doing everything we can to meet the needs of our students," said Russell.

Right now, only district seniors and juniors are a 1 to 1 ratio of computers to students.

"From what I understand other districts got their laptops way before this district. My nieces, my coworkers--they got it before my kids. They didn't have any problems," said parent, Kathy Andral.

"It's just been a lot," said Melissa Petteway. "There's a national shortage of a whole bunch of stuff, it's understandable. So I'm just glad that Burlington City was able to help the kids this time," she said.

Another 650 laptops are expected to arrive Friday. They will be distributed Monday. And within two weeks, the district expects to have a 1:1 ratio of computers to students.
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