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    Superintendent Denise Juneau Thanks Amazon for Laptop Donation
    Posted on 04/07/2020

    Superintendent Denise Juneau Thanks Amazon for Laptop Donation

    Seattle Public Schools, the Alliance for Education, and Amazon announced on Monday, April 6 that Amazon has made a donation of 8,200 laptops for SPS students.

    "We've never lost sight of the need to continue our students' education ... and our community partner Amazon now makes it easier to keep moving forward with the critical work of teaching and learning." said Superintendent Denise Juneau.

    This donation will help close the gap in Seattle Public Schools’ continuous learning plan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amazon’s permanent, direct-to-student donation will be supplied to elementary students to support the goal of providing Seattle students with access to a device while at home.

    "Amazon's gift comes at a crucial time for our students," said Superintendent Denise Juneau. "We’ve never lost sight of the need to continue our students’ education — even during this unprecedented time — and our community partner Amazon now makes it easier to keep moving forward with the critical work of teaching and learning."

    This donation also launches a new fund, the Education Equity Fund stewarded by the Alliance for Education, Seattle Public Schools’ nonprofit partner. This new fund will support students furthest from educational justice in accessing the technology, technical support, and additional learning resources required to continue to learn during the COVID-19 crisis. 

    "Now more than ever, it is imperative to support those students most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis – our students furthest from educational justice. Providing them with the resources to quickly transition to online learning during this pandemic is a game-changer. Amazon’s laptop donation fills a critical gap for thousands of Seattle students," said Lisa Chick, president and CEO of the Alliance for Education. "The Alliance for Education is working in close partnership with Seattle Public Schools to ensure students, families, teachers, and staff have the resources, technology, and training they need to keep learning going, despite school closures. The Education Equity Fund is a direct way for our community members to join that partnership and support our students. I am excited for our community to step in with additional creative contributions to continue meeting these needs."

    Seattle Public Schools closed schools on March 12 and immediately focused on providing students and families with basic needs including meal distribution at 26 sites, as well as an overall approach to remote learning. As the breadth of the challenge for continuous learning came into focus, the district and the Alliance for Education worked together to find solutions.

    The donated laptops will be provided to elementary students who otherwise do not have access to a device at home. This gift allows the district to prioritize distributing district laptops to high school students.

    Amazon is working closely with district staff and building leaders, to ensure laptops are distributed according to need. Families will hear from their elementary schools about this effort in the upcoming days. Students receiving laptops from Amazon will keep the laptops permanently, further supporting them in their educational journey beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Amazon is also supporting Seattle students and their families through the Right Now Needs Fund, an Amazon partnership with the Alliance for Education that helps principals, teachers, and parents collaborate to remove students’ most basic barriers to learning, such as the need for food, clothing, and housing.

    "Making sure our kids have the ability to keep learning is one of the most important things we can collectively do during the COVID-19 crisis," said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services. "With this donation, we're focused on Seattle students from underserved and underrepresented communities who otherwise would not have access to these devices, which helps enable SPS to educate and assist all of their students during this pandemic."

    Businesses, community groups, and individuals can get involved and donate to the Alliance’s Education Equity Fund to help provide students furthest from educational justice the support they need to continue to learn during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

    Since schools were closed, our educators have worked to provide continuous learning through a variety of channels: digital instruction; paper-based and translated packets available online and distributed at 26 meal distribution sites; video learning opportunities on SPS TV, social media, and local broadcast partner outlets; emails; and learning materials and engagement from teachers through Schoology, the district’s online learning management tool.

    A heartfelt thanks to all our partners and community members, who are working to support our students and families! It takes all of us working together to build equitable learning environments. We are happy to have you alongside us in this effort.

    Read more about the Education Equity Fund.

    Read more about Seattle Public School's Strategic Plan.