Part of the $1.2 Billion 2020 Bond includes district-wide Educational Technology Improvements. The $128.2 Million in funding will support classroom technology upgrades and distance learning projects. The Office of Technology, Information Services (OTIS) is implementing the work. The process started with the District's 2021-2025 strategic plan, Forward Together which mentioned the goal is to “disrupt racial inequities by applying the PPS RESJ Lens to analyze and interrogate high-leverage system change opportunities, including policies, processes, and resource allocation.”
Details of the work
- A new fiber-optic backbone will be added to each school that will increase connectivity, speed and durability.
- Wi-Fi networks will be placed in each classroom so teachers and students will no longer feel the effects of slow internet speeds. Currently, Wi-Fi is shared between classrooms and speeds can slow when more devices are added.
- Wi-Fi networks will also be added to non-classroom spaces. This will allow teachers to be more mobile and creative in choosing their class spaces allowing for more optimized school space utilization.
- Each classroom will be upgraded to include a wall phone, a computer and monitor station, a wall-mounted laser projector and a drop-down projector screen for improved visibility.
- An audio amplification and enhancement system will be added to classrooms so that a teacher’s voice can be heard at an equal level at any place in the room. This technology has been demonstrated to improve academic achievement and speech perception and increased on-task behavior.
Schedule for the work
Pilot Program Begins in Winter 2021
In order to effectively administer the work across the entire district, the Classroom Technology Improvement Project is starting the work through a pilot program at four schools. Boise-Eliot/Humboldt E.S., César Chávez K-8, George MS, and Lane MS. The pilot program work is set to begin in November 2021. The pilot program allows the project teams to apply lessons learned in those schools when the program is rolled out across the entire District. This will help ensure that future work will be accomplished in the most effective and efficient manner.
The subsequent roll out schedule criteria will center around diversity, equity and inclusion. More details will be made available as the pilot program develops To track the progress of the pilot program please consult the project timeline.
How long will the Educational Technology Improvement Projects take for each school?
Each school will have different levels of work that will need to be done based on the size of the school, age of the building, and other factors. It is estimated that on average the work at each individual school will take from one to four months to complete. Find the progress of your school in the 2020 Bond Educational Technology Project Timeline document.
Impact of the work on schools
The construction work will be conducted outside of regular school hours so that it will have a minimum impact on student and teacher’s classroom experience.