Long lines as Philadelphia students pick up free Chromebooks

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Dozens of Philadelphia parents and students were lined up outside the school district building Wednesday, picking up supplies for the start of the school year which will begin with virtual classes. Some families say they had to wait for hours in line.

"I expected to walk in, sign a form and walk out," said parent Wendy Elliot.

When our crews spotted long lines wrapped around the School District of Philadelphia headquarters building, we had to ask, what was going on.

"We got an email saying that if we needed to get a Chromebook, that we could come between the hours of (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Monday through Friday, to pick it up. So we came here and waited in line and we finally got it," said Elliot.

Some parents say they were in line for up to two hours waiting to get their Chromebook to help with virtual learning for the upcoming school year. Parents and students were not the only ones waiting in line, teachers also had to wait.

"When I drove by, I saw the line and then I was like 'oh well' because I have to get the computer. I said, 'I got to do what I got to do,'" said teacher Tiffany Lancaster.

Superintendent Dr. William Hite said, in order to reduce lines, he wants to remind families there are three locations for laptop pickups:

Education Center, Philadelphia School District
440 N. Broad Street, 1st Floor Lobby, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Fitzpatrick Annex Building
(rear of Fitzpatrick Elementary School) 4101 Chalfont Drive, Philadelphia PA 19154

Martin Luther King High School
6100 Stenton Avenue; Philadelphia, PA 19138

The locations are open five days a week 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"These are new students that are picking up or new families that are picking up laptops. They are returning them if in fact they are not working, but these are individuals making sure that children have laptops to begin the school year," said Dr. Hite.

While the long lines were a bit frustrating, once inside, parents say things went smoothly.

"The process inside is very clean, it is very sanitary. It's very quick but it's just, you can only have so many people in the building at a time and it just takes a long time. There is a lot of people to process," said Elliot.
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