Copperas Cove ISD gets $1 million federal grant to meet students’ learning needs during pandemic
By WENDY SLEDD
Special to Leader-Press
Copperas Cove ISD will get a boost of more than $1 million as a result of the pandemic and Cove students will be the beneficiaries.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, commonly referred to as the CARES Act, earmarks $30.7 billion for states to spend on education, including $13.2 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund.
The Texas Education Agency is the grantee of the funds through the Department of Education and awarded CCISD $1,022,927. The funds are provided federally and no funding is provided by state or local entities.
School districts were encouraged to apply for the grants to receive the funding that limits the allowable use of funds. CCISD was required in the grant application document a plan as to how the funds are spent, how the expenditure related to COVID-19, and comply with quarterly reporting.
Copperas Cove ISD elected to spend the grant money on devices, having already conducted a student needs assessment and revised its technology plan to ensure students’ technology needs were met so they are able to successfully complete their assignments virtually.
With more than 40 percent of CCISD students choosing the virtual learning option at the start of the school year, the district provided computer devices to parents as well as mobile “hot spots” for students with no or poor internet access.
On Wednesday, Sept. 9, CCISD offered parents an opportunity to change their students’ learning preference at the end of the six weeks grading period later this month. Students learning virtually may switch to learning on-campus while at-home learners may switch to on-campus learning.
CCISD Director of Technology Earl Parcell utilized the funding to order 800 HP Netbooks for elementary and middle school students, 650 HP laptops for high school and 110 hotspots for family use. Estimated arrival of the devices is mid-September.
“Grades pre-K and kindergarten will receive iPads. Grades first through eighth will receive Netbooks and with grades 9-12 receiving laptops,” Parcell said. “This is the tentative plan as of now and could be adjusted depending on future needs.”
Parents provided feedback to the district that many had no internet service or poor connectivity based on their homes’ locations.
CCISD Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Services Amanda Crawley said it is CCISD’s mission to ensure the success of every student who selected the virtual learning option as well as those learning on campuses.
“The personal hot spots allow students to still receive daily academic instruction with our highly qualified teachers and also increase the students’ social interaction which is beneficial to their mental and emotional health as well,” Crawley said. “The personal hot spots also make life more efficient for our working parents with the accommodation being in the home rather than remote locations.”