Digital Equity and Inclusion
OSPI Digital Equity and Inclusion Grant
On behalf of the Port Angeles School District, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for offering and helping us access the Digital Equity and Inclusion grant. This generous grant has enabled us to purchase interactive ViewSonic ViewBoards and iPads, significantly enhancing our educational resources. The iPads, in particular, are being used by our special services department to assist children who face communication challenges. These tools are making a profound difference in their lives, helping them to express themselves more effectively and engage more fully in their education. Thank you, OSPI, for your commitment to digital equity and inclusion, and for your invaluable support of our students and our mission.
Grant and Federal Funds Supporting Education
The Digital Equity and Inclusion (DEI) grant, Emergency Connectivity Funds (ECP), and Elementary and Secondary School Rescue (ESSR) funds have significantly bolstered our technology infrastructure, creating new opportunities for our students. The ECP funds have been instrumental in providing students without home internet access the ability to use a hotspot, thereby ensuring uninterrupted access to their education. The ESSR funds have been versatile in their application and were crucial in facilitating remote learning during the forced transition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds have collectively played a pivotal role in our educational continuity and inclusivity.
DEI Grant Narrative
Using DEI funding, The Port Angeles School District was able to purchase interactive TV’s (with training) and iPads with applications, cases, and Apple Care+ for use with students. We also hired a Technology Coach for part of the 22-23 school year with DEI funds.
Funding and Ordering
The Port Angeles School District received funding from the Digital Equity and Inclusion grant through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in July of 2022. The grant provides $268,907 for TV’s and a district technology trainer. We reduced our original ask to provide funding for:
· Funding for a Technology Instructional Coach for one year
· 21 interactive TVs for Dry Creek Elementary
· 5 interactive TVs for Jefferson Elementary
· 9 interactive TVs for Roosevelt Elementary
· 4 interactive TVs for Franklin Elementary
· 2 interactive TVs for Stevens Middle School
· 4 interactive TVs for Port Angeles High School
ViewSonic ViewBoards were ordered in July and received them all by mid-September. The technology department set them up with PC’s on their carts and distributed them. It took the department 3 weeks to get the carts built, PC’s setup, ViewBoards connected and activated, and deliver them to classrooms.
We advertised to hire the Technology Coach for three months before finding the right fit for the position. We hired a Technology Coach on November 28th. The new coach required some time to come up to speed to begin creating training materials and training. Staff began working with the new Technology Coach in January of 2023. The district was able to use the newly hired Technology Coach to support the new interactive TVs and provide timely professional development with staff as they learned to use this new technology with students. Having someone to help teachers feel more confident using the new technology enhanced production and removed some of the frustrations making the deployments more effective.
Along with the new interactive ViewSonic ViewBoards the district received training on using the ViewBoard from ViewSonic on January 27, 20223. ViewSonic sent a presenter from Southern California. The training was excellent. Twenty-nine staff members received this professional development. We are not trying to use some of the mid-level features with students. This proved to be crucial as we discovered multiple ways to utilize these boards. If a staff member doesn’t use them properly, they might miss out on the full range of available options. The training sessions were instrumental in introducing the correct workflows, enabling staff to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the new device.
The Port Angeles School District has made significant strides in overcoming these inequities, thanks to the introduction of our new interactive TVs and some focused professional development. Interactive TVs have revolutionized our classrooms, providing a versatile tool that caters to various learning styles and needs. They have bridged the technology gap, offering an intuitive interface for the basic tools that staff members can navigate fairly easily. In tandem with this, we have prioritized professional development, ensuring our staff are well-equipped to leverage this new technology to its fullest potential. We were able to dedicate time and resources to comprehensive training sessions, fostering a supportive environment where staff can learn, experiment, and become proficient with this technology. This dual approach has significantly enhanced our digital learning environments, ensuring we provide a high-quality, inclusive educational experience for all our students.