Unprecedented times call for meaningful action. In face of a pandemic and resulting school closures, San Antonio ISD accelerated its strategic plan from a three-year strategy to a three-week goal to provide 1:1 technology across the District.
SAISD implemented emergency measures to acquire 30,000 devices including mostly Chromebooks as well as hotspots, which will allow home internet access. The distribution to students of the newly acquired devices begins this week, and will continue in a phased rollout to campuses. Earlier distributions to students involved the deployment of older devices the District already had in inventory.
An appreciation campaign has been started to thank the Technology Department for being so proactive in acquiring and distributing the devices to students.
Additionally, the SAISD Foundation has launched a #ConnectCampaign to assist the District in ensuring students have home internet access.
The action plan was developed when school districts across the county announced their closures and the launch of remote learning in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmission.
Additionally, virtual technology trainings were held for SAISD teachers March 16-25, featuring digital learning platforms including Google Classroom, Zoom, See Saw, and Google Docs. The digital professional development sessions quickly prepared teachers to take their classrooms online. These sessions are continuing every week throughout the closure.
By Tuesday, March 17, the District launched a website providing digital resources for all grade levels and organized by subject areas, and by Monday, March 23, paper resources were being distributed at meal sites so that students could continue their learning. Within one week, the digital site had more than 100,000 hits.
On Monday, March 30, teachers reconnected with their students in virtual classrooms and began providing bite-sized content and social-emotional learning support. Students still to receive devices and internet access will not be penalized, but will be given the support needed to stay on track with their peers.
When students eventually return to their campuses, teachers will continue to use the online resources developed to amplify and expand the offerings of the traditional classroom experience.
During the school closure, SAISD also continues to provide healthy meals, counseling support for students, and other essential services to its families.