Lake Travis ISD allocates $2.4 million to tech upgrades due to pandemic

Lake Travis ISD will purchase 4,000 new laptops for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Lake Travis ISD will purchase 4,000 new laptops for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Lake Travis ISD will purchase 4,000 new laptops for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Approximately 35% of students in Lake Travis ISD are still learning remotely, which is an option Superintendent Paul Norton said would likely be available for the remainder of the school year.

The continuation of virtual learning, in part, has created a greater demand for technology resources, according to Chris Woehl, LTISD’s executive director for technology and information services.

Woehl approached the board during an Oct. 21 meeting to outline the district’s new 1-1 device standard, meaning each student would have their own laptop computer.

In July, LTISD approved the purchase of 1,500 laptops, but due to delays created by the pandemic, Woehl said his department is still waiting for that delivery. The district receives new device requests from families daily, and Woehl said he is not anticipating those to stop.

“Previously, the district distributed classroom sets of Chromebooks,” Woehl said. “We’ve now had to redistribute and allocate those Chromebooks to kids who are not in school, which creates an inquiry for those who are in school.”


As a result, trustees approved the purchase of an additional 4,000 Chromebooks to be allocated to every student at Lake Travis High School. The purchase totals $2.41 million with an additional charge of $230,000 for distribution, serial number etching and other necessary procedures.

LTISD will then collect the Chromebooks currently being utilized by Lake Travis High School students and distribute them to middle school students.

Woehl said this distribution could occur through a drive-thru method before January. As of the Oct. 21 meeting, 800 Chromebooks had been shipped to the district.

Funding will come from the technology portion of the district’s $253 million, 2018 bond program, which was passed by nearly 75% of voters.

The devices are expected to last about five years, according to Woehl, who said LTISD’s next bond package will likely require funds for additional devices.
By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


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