The first day of school this year will look very different than in years past. Like other districts across the nation, Duncanville ISD administrators have been working hard to ensure we are prepared to welcome our students whether in person or virtually.
Preparation includes meeting our technology needs. In the spring, when we learned the remainder of the school year would have to be completed online, we distributed 2,100 devices to students in an effort to get one in every household that needed one.
This summer, the Duncanville ISD Board of Trustees approved $2.8 million for our Technology Department to purchase new devices including iPads, Chromebooks, student and staff laptops and hotspots. The Technology Department has ordered almost 6,000 new devices. Due to the demand from districts throughout the state and the country, not all of those devices will be here before the start of school. As new devices arrive, they’ll be deployed to students and staff.
To help increase internet connectivity throughout the district, the Technology Department is partnering with the Transportation Department to outfit four school buses with WiFi that will be parked in areas that are most in need of internet service. In addition, nearly 40 outdoor wireless antennas are being installed in campus parking lots across the district. There will be more information coming on how to access the internet through those resources.
Of the students who have enrolled for the 2020-2021 school year, more than 70% have chosen the virtual learning program. Because of that, access to technology devices and the internet are a fundamental part of the district’s planning process for this school year. The goal is to provide a device to the households that have expressed a need and continue to supply additional devices to families as more arrive and are available.
The Technology Department is planning to distribute the first wave of devices beginning September 1. Technology Department staff are preparing a list of students and households that need devices and/or mobile hotspots based upon requests made during the enrollment process. There will be more information coming soon about the distribution. If you have any immediate questions or concerns you can contact the Technology Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-708-2300.