Baldwin Community Schools cannot offer virtual learning because of issue with Verizon devices

Posted at 11:53 AM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 11:53:52-04

BALDWIN, Mich. — Baldwin Community Schools can’t go virtual even when large numbers of students are absent due to illness.

That’s because the Verizon devices the district purchased for those who do not have internet access have been recalled, according to a Facebook post from the district.

Officials don’t know when they will receive replacements from Verizon.

The district purchased the devices last year to help bridge the “digital divide,” giving students who did not already have internet access at home the technology they need.

RELATED: Digital Divide: Schools help students get connected, but more work needs to be done

Verizon’s “jetpacks” are smaller than a cellphone and helped bring internet into the homes of 200 Lake County families.

Baldwin Community Schools relied on funding from the CARES Act to pay for the several thousand dollars per month the service costs.

State policies require at least a 75% attendance rate for a day to count as an instructional day.

Balwin district officials say the absence rate last Thursday and Friday fell below that “primarily due to flulike illness.”

One student and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19 and both are currently quarantined.

Students in the district returned to school Monday, Aug. 30 after the interruption.