BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– Hundreds of parents and their kids stood in a line that wrapped around the corner at the Buffalo Public Schools Center for Innovation, Technology and Training on South Park Avenue, Wednesday.
“This is the ridiculousness that Buffalo schools is giving us today! This line is not a happy line,” said Margaret Marshall, she was one of the many upset parents who stood in line for hours on the second day of school.
Many parents say they are having issues with the school issued laptops not working right.
“There’s an issue with the computers because your kid can’t message the teacher, can’t raise their hand, can’t log on to Microsoft 365, everything the teachers have told us to do for these laptops simply doesn’t work, my child is missing another day of school,” Marshall said.
The district addressed the issues with the learning platform, after having sporadic outages on Tuesday. They told parents that if they turn the devices on and then off, it should work. That wasn’t the case for Ms. Marshall and many others.
“The frustration is that they give you laptops, and they don’t work,” she said. “They say to turn them on, and turn them back and everything will sync-up.”
The lines were so long that several Buffalo Police officers had to assist with crowd and traffic control.
Many parents, who didn’t have access to a vehicle, had to take an alternative form of transportation to get to the tech center.
“We have to Uber down, and we have to Uber back,” said Iva Williams, mother of 5. “I’m waiting on my Uber now.”
The district says they’re working hard to make sure all the issues are fixed in a timely manner.
They say that most of the students have laptops already. Laptops and hot spots were given to students back in March when school buildings closed.
“Eighty-five percent of our students had their devices at home. Things happen. They put them away for the summer, they may of lost a charger, they may have an issue they didn’t realize they had, or they may just think they have some updates they want to get taken care of.” said Sarah Edwards, BPS director for instructional technology.
Many parents were afraid that since, the kids are missing school again because of tech issues, that they’ll be counted absent today, but the district says that’s not the case and students will not be counted as absent.
Anyone with tech problems in the Buffalo Public School District is asked to restart their device to see if it starts to work. If that doesn’t work parents are asked to call 716-816-7100.
This morning a district representative said parents should first call the technology helpline before coming out to the building.
She added if you’re still missing a laptop, hot spot, or other tech items, make sure your address is correct with the district so they can reach out to you.
The tech phone number for Buffalo Public is 716-816-7100.