CARES Act funds used for technology
Ipads will be available for every South Tama student thanks to the $303,450 South Tama received from the CARES act.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) act is a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the 116th U.S. Congress in March of 2020 and signed into law by President Donald Trump in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At South Tama exactly 400 iPads were purchased by the district and will be provided for every student in grades Preschool through 12th grade. Logitech Combo iPad cases for the iPads in grades three through eighth grades were purchased as well.
The cases include an attached keyboard and allow students greater functionality with the iPad according to Information Technology Coordinator, Mary Mixdorf.
STC High School students already use these cases.
The district also used the CARES act money to purchase 180 Kajeet SmartSpots. These SmartSpots will provide internet connectivity to families who due to location or financial need, lack sufficient access to the internet. It is estimated roughly 50% of families do not currently have access to the internet. With the SmartSpots that problem is now solved. Within the past two weeks 200 additional hot spots were purchased to meet needs.
Lastly money was used to purchase Lexia Core 5 Reading software and Lexia PowerUp Literacy software.
Mixdorf and other staff members have been busy working on getting the iPads ready for use. Each device had to be configured for each student at STC. This includes the creation of an Apple ID for each student, setting up the student’s email account in grades 3 through 12, installing the software apps required at each grade level, adding each device to the device management software, labelling each device with each student’s name and putting the device in its case.
Following appropriate guidelines when using the iPads is an important responsibility for using the devices.
Students and parents are required to sign an iPad Agreement Form each year that outlines student responsibilities and expectations with regard to the iPad.
“This year we are requiring all students, Preschool through 12th grade, sign and return this form before an iPad will be checked out to the student,” Mixdorf said.
The form, in both English and Spanish, can be found on the district website (http://www.s-tama.k12.ia.us/Home/parents-students/handbooks) or as part of the registration packet that may be picked up at any of the school buildings. This form may be either emailed to Mixdorf at firstname.lastname@example.org, or returned to any of the district school buildings.
Families who are interested in applying for a hot spot may fill out the application which is available, in both English and Spanish, on the district website (http://www.s-tama.k12.ia.us/Home/parents-students/handbooks) or as part of the registration packet that may be picked up at any of the school buildings. This form may be either emailed to me, email@example.com, or returned to any of the district school buildings.