In a release from North Beach School District Superintendent Andrew Kelly, he states that grants and community donations were instrumental in bring chromebooks to students for distance learning.
Kelly states that as the district began this school year remotely, it created an unanticipated demand for at least 375 new 1:1 devices to support distance learning.
He tells KXRO that staff found that for a cost of $315, the district could provide a student with a Chromebook and license needed to participate fully, although with current budgetary constraints the district had to look for ways to cover the unexpected expenditure.
Planning began in early June, reaching out to local foundations and the community. Kelly says that by Friday, September 18, the district had received over $120,000 in grants, foundation gifts and private donations from individuals.
Among the largest contributions:
In addition, the district received 20 private party donations ranging from $50 to over $1,000 each.
Superintendent Kelly said he is thankful for every donation, including the foundation grants, which helped to fill the gap quickly. He adds that he was particularly touched by an elderly couple who came to the district office and wrote a check for $50.
The North Beach Youth Foundation’s donation of $15,120 alone will put Chromebooks in the hands of 48 North Beach scholars.
Seabrook Community Foundation Executive Director Christi Boora was excited to share the foundation decision to provide $70,000 to support North Beach students.
The school year started in North Beach on September 1 in a distance learning mode, gradually bringing small groups of students together for in-person learning as county and state guidance allow.
Kelly says that while the the devices were ordered in early June, nationwide demand means that they have not yet been received and the schools and teachers are currently making the best use of technology currently available in the district.
This is being done with a combination of privately owned devices and those that the district already owned to provide “live” instruction for nearly all students.
Despite the delay in delivery, Superintendent Kelly believes this investment in technology will change the trajectory of education within North Beach forever.