Levy provides equal access to technology at the school

Submitted by Jesse Hammond

In 2016, Lopez Island voters approved a 4-year Technology Capital Projects Levy for Lopez Island School District with the intent of providing equal access to technology for all students and staff at Lopez and Decatur campuses as well as providing new digital tools to aid the current curriculum, inspire creative thinking, and assist with organization. Immediately after the levy was approved, the Lopez Island School District Technology Committee set to work implementing a 4-year technology plan.

Over the past few years, levy funds have supported staffing, student and staff computers, network infrastructure equipment, and educational software applications, as well as many more crucial elements of technology education at LISD. During the first year of funding, elementary classrooms were equipped with sets of Chromebooks and iPads that are used frequently to access educational resources and enrich the school’s learning environment. Having immediate access to these technological tools in the classroom has been a big game changer for students and staff. Resources that used to take up a painful amount of time to access now take seconds, thereby increasing the capacity for learning and productivity in the classroom. Additionally, each classroom is equipped with a short-throw LCD projector that is commonly utilized for presentations and collaborative learning. The levy has also made it possible for the school to upgrade their internet security and content filtering which keeps students and staff safer while online.

Just this last year, LISD has been on the cutting edge of technology deployments by initiating a 1:1 device program in the secondary. This January, each student, 6-12th grade, was given the option to receive a Windows laptop for academic use. Additionally, students are allowed to use these devices at home. 1:1 programs teach students accountability and responsibility for their devices as well as provide access for students to utilize digital resources while on or off campus. Despite manufacturer delays and software glitches, Lopez Island School District’s 1:1 technology deployment was a huge success. In addition to creating equal access to technology, LISD offers free LTE internet to students who do not have internet at home. This service is generously provided by Rock Island at no charge to the District.

Over the next couple of years there will be many more big leaps forward for Lopez Island School District and technology. Teachers and staff are getting device upgrades over the summer and there are even more upgrades planned for the next school year. Every device and piece of equipment purchased with technology levy funds is set on a refresh schedule dependent on the renewal of the technology levy by our community in 2020. All of the staff and students at Lopez Island School District want to thank the community members who voted yes for providing equal access to technology for all of our students. The true impact is hard to express in one short news article, however, if you would like to know the full positive extent of what the Levy has done for Lopez School, just track down a student and ask them what they think.

If you have any questions about how technology is being implemented at LISD, contact the technology committee at techcom@lopezislandschool.org. Thank you for voting yes and providing valuable resources for our Lopez Island youth.