SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — On this last day of the Sacramento City Unified School District’s organized computer giveaways, Sam Brannan Middle School expected fewer than 50 people to show up for laptops.
“I wasn’t able last time to get it for him so I was like, ‘I have to go today,’” parent Jessica Jasso said.
Jasso still works outside the home, so she’s learning to balance her responsibilities with her job and still make sure her eighth grader is being productive at home.
“I have this app called Our Pact, which helps me. I can shut down his cell phone, his iPad, any technology so he can’t use his iPad until his stuff is done,” she said. “He actually kind of likes it. He says he can focus a little bit more.”
Sam Brannan Principal Enrique Flores says that while making sure students have access to laptops is vital, access isn’t the biggest barrier he’s seeing. It’s motivation.
“It’s hoping that kids are getting out of bed, getting to their computers and getting engaged in their work. For any teenager, it’s a difficulty. We have to constantly be engaging with them to get them to do their work on a daily basis,” Flores said.
Jasso says the online learning curriculum allows her tools to monitor her son’s progress while she is not home.
“There’s a parent login, there’s a student login, so I get to log in and see his progress, what he’s done so far during the day,” she said. “And so, I’m like, ‘You’ve only got one lesson and it’s already two o’clock. What’s happening?’”
Though formal laptop distribution across Sacramento City Unified ended Wednesday, families can still request a laptop through their school.