District Receives Large Technology Grant

District Receives Large Technology Grant
Posted on 10/06/2021
This is the image for the news article titled District Receives Large Technology Grant

The Estacada School District is pleased to announce that our district has been selected to receive a grant intended to support connectivity and technology in our schools. The grant, an award of almost $400,000, is a tremendous win for the district. Technology and Operations leaders worked diligently to apply for this award. 

The grant will allow the district to replace 586 student devices this year, saving the district more than $164,000 from the general fund during the 2021-2022 school year. This allows the district to keep money in the classroom, while still funding technology advancements. The additional funds will ensure that the district has a variety of student devices available for each child in the district for the coming school years. 

This grant is provided by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC states that “Internet access is not just nice-to-have, it is a must-have for work, healthcare, school, and beyond. Nearly 17 million school children lack internet access at home, creating a nationwide Homework Gap that left unsolved could become an opportunity gap. And many Americans stay offline because they can’t afford the cost of broadband service. The FCC is working on programs to provide help to these communities.” The Estacada School District is excited to utilize this program to benefit students across the district as we work to ensure that every student has the supplies and technology necessary to access their learning from anywhere. 

The application process was an extensive undertaking, and will fund student device replacement for several years. The district also qualifies for reduced service fees for hotspots. This has the potential to save the district up to $33,000 annually. Hotspots are a device used around the Estacada School District to ensure that students have equitable access to the internet at home to connect to school even if there are financial barriers in their household. 

Estacada School District Superintendent Ryan Carpenter notes that this is an “exciting win for our students, technology department, and district. I’m excited for this opportunity to utilize outside funds to continue to sustain and improve the technology services we offer to our children.” As the district continues to seek innovative ways to connect students to their learning from any location, additional funding is a welcome support. 

The Estacada School District is a 1-to-1 district, meaning that every student receives a technology device. This program has enabled the district to adapt quickly to changing circumstances including COVID-19 quarantines, closures, and snow days- all while keeping learning going. It also ensures that each student has equal access to technology at home, and can learn utilizing 21st-century devices and technology. New devices must be added to the district regularly as new students enter the district, devices sustain damage, or reach the device’s end of life and are no longer able to be updated. 

Being a 1-to-1 district requires significant funds and efforts, and district leaders would like to applaud the Technology and Operations Departments for their concerted efforts to be fiscally responsible while funding this program. The district looks forward to using these funds to continue to remove barriers to learning for the students that they serve.