Classes starts soon, but Twin Cities schools say they’re missing key supplies

Local News

MCLEAN COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — Schools in Bloomington-Normal are set to start on time, but they’re missing key supplies. Both District 87 and Unit 5 are still waiting on the chromebooks and tablets they ordered months ago.

In an email sent to parents Wednesday, the Unit 5 school district wrote “Due to circumstances beyond our control the chromebooks and tablets we ordered have been delayed.”

“What we ordered were tablets for our students in kindergarten through second grade, and chromebooks for students in grade 3-5,” said Unit 5 Superintendent, Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle.

Superintendent Weikle says, the district ordered those devices in June, but school starts in just over a week and they are still not here.

“A couple factors have come into play, obviously the pandemic,” she said. “But most recently there is a particular chip that we need for our devices, and the U.S. Government discontinued the opportunity for any  business in the United States to do business with this company overseas.”

The ripple effect of that has reached schools all over the country, including the district on the other side of town.

“I expect that we will get most, meaning about two-thirds of them,” said D87 Superintendent, Dr. Barry Reilly.

Like Weikle, Reilly says he expects the rest to arrive in the middle of the semester, until then, his staff will have to adjust.

“With this whole pandemic we have had to have teachers pivot, turn, twist, jump at the blink of an eye,” he said. “They’re pretty adaptable and I’m confident they will make it work in the end.”

Both districts say, students still have the old ones they used in the spring semester and they will be using those until the new chrome books come in, sometime in September.

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