Nacogdoches ISD secured 1,200 new Chromebooks at no cost to the district by using the third round of the Emergency Connectivity Fund, a federal program that provides money for technology purchases in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chromebooks will mostly be used to replace older iPads in use by NISD students in Grade 2.
Second-graders across the state will be taking Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System tests (an assessment program for students in Texas public schools who are learning the English language) that will be administered online during the 2022-23 academic year.
“This was a great effort by our technology department that takes advantage of funding that saves the district a significant amount of money,” said NISD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo. “As we move deeper into online testing for standardized exams, it will be vitally important to have a strong technology infrastructure in place.”
Using laptops for TELPAS testing prepares students for third-grade, when State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, will be administered online.
“This will better prepare students for STAAR in the third grade,” said Keirsten Morris, the district’s Director of Technology. “It will provide more time for students to learn and practice keyboarding skills ahead of test time in third-grade.”
This time around the funding mechanism with the Emergency Connectivity Fund will not require any cash outlay by applying districts, Morris said. Instead, invoices for the Chromebooks will be sent directly to the fund for payment. In 2020, when NISD joined hundreds of Texas school districts in purchasing hardware during the pandemic, the districts provided initial funding and were then reimbursed.
The total cost of $480,000 also covers licensing fees and a protective case.