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Collier County schools prepare to help students with online learning, internet access

Collier County school officials are making sure every student can continue their education while schools are closed.

An unknown number of students in the Collier public school system have no internet access.

Among them is Franklin Jean, a senior at Immokalee High School. With schools on mandatory shutdown until April 15, Jean worries he won’t make it to graduation now that his classes have shifted to online.

“We have no Wi-Fi,” he said, adding he has “no clue” how he’ll be able to get his schoolwork done.

Internet access for everyone is a problem statewide. That’s why Gov. Ron DeSantis gave all school districts the OK to tap into various budgets to get kids online as soon as possible, and they’re handing out laptops to families who need them.

“Collier County Public Schools is prepared to make sure our families have the resources they need for e-learning,” said Chad Oliver, executive director of communications.

Comcast is offering free self-installation kits and will waive all fees for at least the next 60 days.

“Particularly with children needing to be home, learning … we want to make sure we can support them in any way we can,” said Cindy Arco, public relations manager for Comcast’s Florida region.

Franklin appreciates the help, but he’s never taken a class online and wonders what it might do to his grades.

“Will I drop my GPA down and will it make me not graduate because I might be doing bad in some of my classes?”

Collier schools expect students to start working independently on March 23, with online classes starting March 30.

Reporter:Andrea Guerrero
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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