An unexpected advantage appeared for Katy’s Aristoi Classical Academy when COVID-19 struck and they realized they had just the right amount of technology for everyone to transition online. …
An unexpected advantage appeared for Katy’s Aristoi Classical Academy when COVID-19 struck and they realized they had just the right amount of technology for everyone to transition online. Nearly two years ago, the academy was gifted 300 computers from the well-known energy company, Shell, which helped the school face the challenges of home-based learning during COVID-19.
With the help of volunteers like Jim and Cathy Jones, the school managed to transition to this new atmosphere without trouble and had the technology on hand prior to the pandemic, said Aristoi Classical Academy Superintendent, Brenda Davidson.
“Parent volunteers add the bells and whistles to Aristoi Classical Academy by their caring donations and volunteer hours,” said Davidson.
With experience working at Shell, both Jim and Cathy helped coordinate the donation and facilitate the setup of all the computers. They began by re-imaging the software profiles on the computers to replace the old software with appropriate programs for both students and teachers. This included a replacement of computers in Aristoi elementary schools and other upper school campuses before finally preparing the computers for Shell’s donated technology. Little did anyone know that the technology would become so vital at the end of the 2019-20 school year, said Davidson.
“They had all of this done prior to COVID-19,” Davidson said. “I just consider it divine intervention. We would not have been at this place without this donation.”
Although the academy is usually not a place that accepts modern electronics and considers them central to education, they have discovered a balance between the two, said Davidson.
Aristoi plans to educate students in the fall whether that be on-campus or online. With a new computer center and two new IT employees, the academy is ready for what the new school year will bring while still honoring the academy’s roots in classical education.
“(The Joneses) have not in any way tried to move us from our goals and philosophy of a classical education. They’ve struck the perfect balance,” said Davidson.