DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Day one of Dallas ISD’s massive technology distribution effort appears to have gone well.
Staffers are working to get some 60,000 devices into the hands of students before the start of the new school year, now scheduled for Tuesday, September 8.
“Everything moving quite along,” says a relieved Vette Kennard, snapping her fingers for emphasis.
Kennard picking up iPads at Jose “Joe” May Elementary in far Northeast Dallas.
“After lunch? Maybe about 5 minutes–it wasn’t even that–maybe because I was at the front,” she adds with a laugh. “It turned out great. Quick. Easy.”
It’s just the kind of review staffers were hoping to hear.
The decision to distribute devices by grade level at each campus apparently avoided the nightmare some parents feared.
“We wanted to make sure it was easy and traffic flowed and they weren’t waiting a long time to get their devices,” says Principal Rosseven Nava.”About 15 to 30 max. At least four parents go inside, one of them comes out, we take another one.”
The months of planning appeared to have paid off.
Over the summer, DISD IT staffers preconfigured each device with all of the necessary software. An iPad for students in PreK – 2nd. Older students received Chromebooks.
A device was assigned to each student whether they would be receiving instruction online or in class.
“I want to go to school,” shares 6th grade student Hazel Meza, “because teachers explain more.”
The iPads and Chromebooks are stuffed into backpacks with hot spots, headphones and STEM kits.
The goal is for students to be able to plug in, turn on and start learning.
“They are ready,” shared Jessica Hernandez while picking up devices for her daughter, and a niece. “They’re missing school for sure.”
The line of vehicles at Joe May was kept moving and traffic never backed up onto the street.
It is a scene that will play out at 16 DISD campuses every day for the next couple of weeks.
Parents don’t need to preregister to pick up the devices, but going online to complete the technology contract will make the process run smoother after arriving on campus.
“In March, nobody was prepared,” says Kennard, “and I think it gave us enough time to kind of get things ready, so we can tackle this new year. Never know what’s going to happen, but we’re prepared.”
And Principal Nava, says she’s also hopeful.
“I know there is a lot of unknown, but the district has done an amazing job to make sure we know where they are directing their attention,” says Nava. “They are following CDC guidelines, that they’re making sure that everything is about the safety and security, of not just the students, but the staff, the employees and teachers, so I’m very hopeful, yes.”
Parents with questions can contact the school district’s IT help desk at 972-925-5630 from 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.