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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) -   The Rochester School Board is being asked to buy hundreds of new laptops to meet the demands of distance learning.

One of the challenges Rochester Public Schools is facing is making sure there are enough laptops for students and staff. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all students will face distance learning when the school year begins Wednesday.

The school board is scheduled to vote at its Tuesday meeting on a recommendation to buy  4,500 HP Chromebooks “to increase the supply of available technology in the buildings for the in-person instruction days.”  The cost is just over $1-million. RPS expects to be reimbursed through the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund.

The board has been told an assessment of 15,500 students found between 30-percent and 50-percent at each site have requested a device from the district.

The RPS 2020-2021 school year will begin with a hybrid education model in grades PK to 5 and a distance learning model in grades 6 - 12.

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