For Immediate Release: March 29, 2020
Contact: Tim LeMonds (608) 663-1903
tjlemonds@madison.k12.wi.us

MADISON - Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is teaming with United Parcel Service (UPS) to safely distribute much needed digital devices to students for their virtual learning needs. Earlier efforts by MMSD to distribute student devices were thwarted as a result of rapidly changing public health guidelines on social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Our focus from the start of this crisis has been the safety and well-being of our students, families and staff and we believe this to be the safest alternative to getting these important devices into our student’s hands.” said Jane Belmore, MMSD Interim Superintendent.  “We are so very grateful for the love and support the district has received from the community, and to UPS for stepping in to lend a helping hand, they are wonderful neighbors and caring members of our community.”

To make this happen, UPS is providing significantly reduced pricing to MMSD for boxes, packaging materials, insurance, and verified delivery. The devices are an important component for students as MMSD transitions to Virtual Learning set to launch April 6. 

MMSD has struggled over the last couple weeks to develop a safe plan for distribution of the devices, as public health guidelines and orders from Governor Ever’s office have forced the district to scuttle previous on-site distribution plans to adhere to rapidly expanding social distancing directives.   

“Our school community had a very clear need and challenge before us, and it is heartwarming to know that UPS with its ability to provide for that need, recognized they could help and did,” Belmore added.  
 
In preparation, over the next couple of days MMSD will be verifying mailing addresses for families who indicated they need a device to ensure delivery accuracy, as some addresses may be different from a typical household address. Additionally, the district is working with the City of Madison to identify school-age children who may be residing with their families at area hotels to ensure these students have the resources they need to continue learning.

MMSD expects to start shipping devices by Wednesday so that all students have them by the end of next week.  Deliveries will require a “sign off” meaning the UPS driver will need to verify a person received the device at each household. This will be done following social distancing guidelines by using simple visual verification that the device was received by the appropriate family.