The Vernon Verona Sherrill School District has announced that its recent application to the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) has been approved, and the district has been awarded $460,206 to purchase educational technologies to support remote learning.
The ECF is a federal program, created through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which provides funding to schools and libraries for the reasonable costs of eligible equipment and services, such as laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, and WiFi hotspot devices necessary to support remote learning.
While VVS has been fortunate through community support of its annual budget to be able to provide 1:1 Chromebook devices to all of its students in grades Pre-K through 12 and a WiFi hotspot to any family that has requested one, these funds will allow the district to maintain continuity in its replacement cycle for aging devices, ensuring that students are consistently provided current technologies, the district announcement said.
Specifically, these funds have been approved by the ECF for the purchase of 1,100 Chromebooks and a WiFi hotspot and data for each of the district’s school buses.
The Chromebooks will be used over the next two school years to replace devices currently assigned to students in grades 5-12, which are presently in their fourth year of use, the announcement said. The WiFi hotspots, which will be installed on each of the district’s buses and utilize cellular data provided with the program, will allow students (particularly those with longer bus rides) to take advantage of the time and devices to engage in additional remote learning opportunities.