The Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted in favor of authorizing the superintendent to approve the purchase of portable electronic devices for students, LTE internet access for students and other items needed to support a one-to-one solution through the Department of Information Resources (DIR) purchasing cooperative at an amount not to exceed $44 million during a special-called meeting on July 7.
The purchase will support CFISD LTE 1:1 (Learning Together Everywhere), which provides every student with an electronic device to support quality instruction and resources. The program allows CFISD to meet the needs of all students by providing appropriate teacher-directed instruction, including real-time live virtual instruction as outlined in the Texas Education Agency’s Strong Start 2020-21 plan.
“All of our students need quality instruction from their teachers,” said Dr. Linda Macias, CFISD chief academic officer. “While nothing can replace effective face-to-face instruction with a teacher, ensuring all students have a Chromebook and internet access will allow them to receive remote instruction that is teacher-directed and includes live virtual instruction through theCFISD Connectplatform. This will allow students to be actively engaged in their learning while connecting with their teachers and classmates.”
CFISD LTE 1:1 will function in two parts: Chromebooks featuring built-in cameras, microphones and external protective cases; and internet access.
Devices will be managed through inventory systems, with accidental damage protection, and CFISD technicians will be available for repairs. Safety layers will prevent unauthorized downloads, while a content filter will be installed on all devices in compliance with the Children Internet Protection Act. Each device also features a comprehensive reporting and alerting system for Chromebooks, which facilitates locating and recovering misplaced devices.
Internet access will be made available for students in households indicating a need through mobile hotspots. In addition, CFISD is piloting a program to broaden its reach by installing WiFi on buses.
The CFISD LTE 1:1 website (www.cfisd.net/lte) will provide parents and students information on internet filtering, digital citizenship, device care, technical support and additional online resources, including handbook and guidelines for use, return process and reporting a device lost or stolen.
Technology services team members will work collaboratively with school leadership and the curriculum and instruction departments to distribute devices to students and identify households in need of internet access.
“By providing a device for every student, we believe that the district is taking a significant step to ensure that our students are positioned for success,” said Karen Smith, CFISD chief financial officer. “The CFISD LTE 1:1 program ties Schoology andCFISD Connecttogether to complete a high quality instructional program. This program positions our students to be successful in all learning environments.”
The goal is to distribute devices prior to the first day of school (Aug. 24), though availability may ultimately determine the schedule for distribution.