OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - With 260 students quarantined, they never have to miss a day of class. Hundreds of laptops made their way to the front doors of Ocean Springs High School, expanding technology throughout the entire district.
“The first nine weeks we had about 10% of our population learning virtually," said Superintendent Bonita Coleman. "We’ve also expanded that to have a virtual continuum in case our students have to quarantine.”
Although the number of students quarantined may seem large, Coleman wants to remind people what defines an outbreak.
“We have a large continuation with the band that had to be quarantined,” Coleman said. She added that out of the 190 band students, three or more students affected by COVID-19 determines an outbreak.
“We’re very conservative not only with our contact tracing but also our quarantine, trying to make sure that our school stays as safe as possible," Coleman said. "We want to make sure if students are exposed if they do become positive that they’re not on campus.”
With the 600 additional laptops, every student will take one home, both in-person and distance learners.
“We’re also receiving about 135 swivel devices," Coleman said. "We’ve already invested in eBooks, so all of their textbooks will now be delivered electronically, and it also prepares them for college.”
The district ordered a total of 3,500 laptops and they’re all paid for through the Equity in Digital Learning Act, one of the two laws part of Mississippi Connects. $200 million was divided between the two, ensuring all students across the state receive the adequate technology they need to be successful.
Coleman said she’s thankful the legislature planned ahead, tackling the importance of connectivity.
“We’re trying to stay as nimble as we can and also proactive as we can,” Coleman said. "Right now, I don’t have an indicator of whether or not this will go away in our immediate future but what I do know is we’ll stay resilient and we’ll continue to address every challenge that comes to us. "