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Pittsburgh Public School Teachers Say Current Supply Problems Could Have Been Prevented

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Pittsburgh Public Schools will not be going back as originally scheduled.

They have delayed their start to September 8, as not all students have the technology they need to be ready for the fall.

With a supply-chain issue, thousands of devices still have not arrived for district students as they prepare to start the year online.

Educators feel this could have been prevented by slowly issuing devices over the past few years.

"It seems like this device situation should have been taken care of two years ago, three years ago, five years ago," art teacher Katherine Shimko said.

Shimko has been with the district for more than a dozen years and is thankful the district pushed back the start so students can get their devices. She feels it allows students to get more acclimated with the technology and teachers to prepare more for the upcoming year.

"Anytime you are trying to teach students and they don't have a way to interact with the teacher or the curriculum, that causes a problem," she told KDKA.

According to the district, upwards of 7,000 devices should be arriving to fulfill their outstanding need. About 1,200 were given out Saturday, but, for some parents, it was their third time trying.

"The learning curve for those students that don't have the technology is going to exist, whereas for the students who have had it since day one or before COVID happened they're already ahead of the game," science teacher Adam Holy said.

Holy is going into his fifteenth year there. He said the pandemic has brought to light the inequity parts of the district face.

"There's certain schools that have had access to the devices since day one. Whereas other schools that do not have access," he said.

Teachers say they've been working with families to help get them up to speed with using personal devices for virtual learning. They feel once classes start, it may be challenging, but the year can be a success.

"If you're ready to learn, then you are going to get something out of this experience," Shimko said.

Families that have devices are asked to use them until more devices can arrive in October. For more information on how you can get your personal device ready, click here.

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