Katy ISD distributes technology to facilitate online classes

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 8/20/20

Katy ISD began classes Aug. 19 with the first three weeks of classes slated to be held virtually, rather than in the classroom for all students. In preparation for that, Katy ISD has issued thousands …

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Katy ISD distributes technology to facilitate online classes

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Katy ISD began classes Aug. 19 with the first three weeks of classes slated to be held virtually, rather than in the classroom for all students. In preparation for that, Katy ISD has issued thousands of devices to KISD students to ensure they have the technology to keep up with their school work.

“No child will be left offline.  Our goal is to ensure our students have access to technology in order to learn virtually,” said KISD Director of Instructional Technology Darlene Rankin.  “Prior to the pandemic, the District was already transitioning to equipping our campuses and their libraries with technology devices for digital learning.”

Devices were issued to students via a drive-thru curbside event Aug. 17 and 18 to make sure students participating in the district’s Katy Virtual Academy – also known as KVA – have access to the devices that will facilitate their education this year.

After Sept. 8, the first day students will return to campuses, about 43,000 students will continue to attend classes virtually, according to a KISD press release. The statement said the district has received more than 25,000 requests for devices to facilitate at-home learning. Devices issued include Chromebooks, laptops, iPads and hotspots.

When the pandemic first began, Rankin’s department issued more than 12,000 devices on April 22 to students to facilitate learning at home through a similar curbside pick up process. Now, as then, the devices come with all of the software and safety protocols district policy has established to allow students to access MyKaty Cloud, the district’s e-learning website as well as the Canvas website and other learning resources.

The District has also compiled a list of internet providers offering discounted access for qualifying KISD families. (see the Internet Access sidebar)

District staff worked diligently throughout the summer to install hardware on old district-owned hardware, staff said.

“Those devices, along with new purchases, are now being provided to students who have a technology need in their home,” Rankin said.

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