Superintendent Donald Fennoy told area business leaders he wants to close the digital divide this fall by getting computers in the hands of every student, and internet access to as many neighborhoods as possible.

Fennoy met with members of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. County administrator Verdenia Baker also took part.

The superintendent said the district dispatched about 65,000 computers when the pandemic first hit in March, forcing students home for months of distance learning.

Fennoy said the district is looking at school buses and Wi-Fi extenders to get internet access into neighborhoods.

The School District of Palm Beach County will start school with distance learning only on Aug. 31. Gov. DeSantis said earlier this month he believes kids will be safe in school, but says parents should have an option to send their kids to school or learn at home. The Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union, is suing Florida over its back-to-school emergency order. The union believes it ignores the fact that schools are high-contact settings where the coronavirus virus can potentially spread with ease.

Palm Beach County remains in Phase 1 of Florida’s plan to reopen for business due to the coronavirus numbers. The latest figures show Palm Beach County with more than 29,000 cases of the coronavirus to go along with 744 deaths.

Fennoy said once the county reaches Phase 2 students will be phased back into the classrooms. Students from Pre-K, first grade, sixth grade, and ninth grade will go first.

The superintendent said the district is on track to submit its reopening plan to the state by July 31.