Technology Grant Enables DeSoto ISD To Keep Kids Connected On & Off Campus
DESOTO—Recently the DeSoto Independent School District was awarded the Texas Education Agency’s 2018-2019 Technology Lending Grant.
“We are absolutely thrilled about this grant for our students. These funds provide DeSoto ISD an opportunity to close the equity gap,” said DeSoto ISD Associate Superintendent Dr. Gabrielle Lemonier. “Socio-economic status will no longer impact our students’ ability to access the resources they need to support the continuation of learning at home or our students’ access to tech at school.”
The $100,000 grant will enable the district’s new Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy to be on the cutting edge. Providing students access to loaner iPads to use at school and home.
Wi-Fi mobile hotspot wireless devices will also be purchased to loan to students, allowing those in need to have access to educational Internet resources at home.
“With Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy being a technology magnet, we want to ensure that we are making every effort to outfit the campus with as wide a range of technology as possible to ensure we are developing a truly technologically-rich environment for our students,” said Lemonier.
Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy, scheduled to open August 2018, will accommodate 810 students in grades K-5. The planned 115, 228 sq. ft., 2-story building is part of the DeSoto ISD 2005 Bond Program. The state-of-the-art building will be environmentally-friendly and energy-conservative.
Innovative Grant Implementation
In addition to serving the new Technology Magnet, this grant provides all students in the district with internet access. By providing students with hotspot devices for home use, DeSoto ISD will also outfit district-owned buses with Wi-Fi for student use.
Buses will be parked throughout the district to allow students to board after school, on weekends and school holidays, and throughout the summer to work on school assignments and projects. The buses will also be available to students during school field trips as well as for student athletes, band members, dance teams, academic, organizations, and other clubs to use during school-sponsored events.
Digital devices, technologies, and content will be used to support engaging student learning in school and at home, enhancing students’ technological skills and academic proficiencies and closing the digital divide experienced by economically disadvantaged students and their peers.
The goals of the grant ensure that students needing technology during out-of-school hours have a device. Along with 24/7 access to the Internet, support their ongoing learning. This program promotes equitable access for all Academy students, particularly those students who are economically-disadvantaged.
Devices purchased from the TLP grant and other funding sources will be used in a cohesive manner. Ensuring all students have dedicated access to a mobile technology device. Overall, the these tools will incorporate digital learning at school and in their home. Thus, preparing them to ultimately succeed in college and career.