Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) or remote learning will be a normal part of the educational process for JCPS schools and families for the foreseeable future. Ensuring equity in technology is more important than ever. JCPS has acknowledged that every child needs their own device and that internet access is an issue. The district and the state must be held accountable for:
- Ensuring 1:1 technology access — that every student has an updated and functional device (laptop, tablet, etc.) in their home before the start of school in the fall of 2020
- Providing high-speed internet access for every JCPS family who needs it
- Providing direct technical assistance for families, including training on how to use devices, troubleshooting problems, and replacing damaged or defective devices
Who needs to act? You; Dr. Marty Pollio; JCPS Board of Education
On July 10, 2020, JCPS Superintendent, Dr. Martin Polio, sent a written response to the Path document. Tech Equity was specifically addressed in the statement below. You may read the full response here.
Tech equity will be crucial moving forward with the new school year. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, we know that 1: 1 technology and access for all students in JCPS is critical. This step ensures success for all students during future Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) periods as well as a long-term focus on how we support students instructionally through technology. JCPS continues to move toward our goal of having a laptop or iPad available for every student to have at home as well as have access to internet connectivity. In addition to the 20,000 devices and 2,500 hot spots that were provided during NTI this spring, we have ordered 30,000 new devices and stand ready to deploy a large number of additional hot spots in our continued effort to reach 1: 1 technology access. JCPS had to quickly pivot in March to develop, create, and implement an entirely new platform for students and teachers. If we have to start classes in a virtual learning environment, we will be poised to provide every student access to a device. In addition, teachers will be provided professional learning opportunities that focus on maximizing technology resources to reach every student. However, access to high-speed internet in every JCPS household will continue to be a challenge moving forward. We can deploy hot spots as a short-term solution. JCPS is ready to be at the table to develop a long-term solution to the meet the needs of our entire community and to provide equity in access to bridge the digital divide. But, this must be a communitywide initiative that involves government entities, non-profits, foundations, and private donors.