Skip To ContentSkip To Content
    Challenge Accepted: Alaska Airlines Completes Big Task for SPS Students
    Posted on 09/02/2020
    A group of people hold up a sign that says Thank you Alaska Airlines

    Challenge Accepted: Alaska Airlines Completes Big Task for SPS Students

    Carrier expedites shipping 12,000 iPads to Seattle schools

    It took one call from a superintendent to a former governor. Add in a hometown airline and the result was a community coming together to help students. Now, 12,000 iPads will be delivered on time to support our youngest learners in kindergarten through 2nd grade.

    School is starting in early September, and the Seattle Public Schools Dept. of Technology Services (DoTS) team has supplied tech devices to almost all 53,000 SPS students in order to support remote learning this fall.

    The DoTS team needed 12,000 more devices to support K-2 students, so the order went out to Apple. But then there was a logistical problem on Apple's end: the iPad order might not make it in time from Apple's Boston, Mass., warehouse for the first day of school in Seattle.

    That's when Superintendent Denise Juneau went to work. The superintendent made a phone call to former Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, who is now CEO of Challenge Seattle.

    Challenge Seattle is an organization devoted to bringing forward innovative solutions to the community and leveraging the resources of the business community for the greater good.

    Because this is precisely the type of project Challenge Seattle can tackle, Governor Gregoire then contacted Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden, and his team flew into action.

    Alaska Airlines transported the iPads from the Apple warehouse in Boston to the airport, where they were loaded onto Alaska Airlines planes. From there, it was a cross-country trip to Seattle — the hometown of Alaska Airlines and Seattle Public Schools.

    To celebrate this final step in supplying all SPS students with devices, Superintendent Juneau, SPS School Board President Zachary DeWolf, and a group from the SPS DoTS team met at Alaska Airlines Air Cargo headquarters so they could personally thank Mr. Tilden and the Alaska Airlines team. Kudos were also extended to Governor Gregoire for her key role in facilitating the entire project.

    "This is a great example of our community coming together to problem-solve and to provide solutions that have such a positive impact on so many of our students and families," said Superintendent Juneau. "All of us at SPS are very grateful to Governor Gregoire and Challenge Seattle for getting the ball rolling, and for Brad Tilden jumping in with the great team at Alaska Airlines so we can get these iPads to our youngest scholars."

    Read more about this partnership with Alaska Airlines on the company blog.

    Learn more about technology for remote learning on our FAQ.

    Learn more about SPS devices for students.