KISD providing devices for grades 3-8 by 2021

Thanks to advances in mobile device technology, all Klein ISD students in grades three through eight will have their own mobile devices as a supplemental learning tool within the next five school years.

The KISD board of trustees approved a five-year implementation plan at an Oct. 12 board meeting to ensure the tens of thousands of students at those grade levels will have their own devices by the 2020-21 school year. Superintendent Jim Cain said the program will cost about $36 million, much of which came from 2015 bond referendum approved in May.

The plan will implement the program at four intermediate schools in the 2016-17 school year, another four intermediate schools in 2017-18 and then among fifth-, fourth- and third-graders in 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21, respectively, district officials said.

“Although we are fortunate to have a vast array of digital tools on campus, putting these tools in the hands of every student every day is vital to facilitating our future-ready learning environment,” Kleb Intermediate School Principal Jessica Haddox said.

All four Klein ISD high schools and Krimmel Intermediate School have already transitioned to a 1-1 student-to-device ratio, said Susan Borg, associate superintendent of instruction and student services. The plan was always to implement the program across the remaining intermediate schools after Krimmel opened as a 1-1 campus in 2007, Borg said.

“Around that time in 2009 and 2010 when we had the downturn in the economy, we had to stretch our dollars a little bit further,” Borg said. “We had to put that [plan] on hold for a while.”

However, advances in mobile device technology—such as the Google Chromebook—have made the devices much more affordable, Borg said. Students access much of their instruction materials and do many of their assignments on the devices, which are filtered by the district, Borg said.

“Students are engaged in what they’re learning when it involves a digital device,” Borg said. “They’re using whatever’s on there to do their work or collaborate with other kids or contributing to a project.”

"Putting these tools in the hands of every student every day is vital to facilitating our future-ready learning environment."

—Jessica Haddox, Kleb Intermediate School Principal

Students from pre-K through second grade will be transitioned to a 2-1 student-to-device ratio with a mixture of iPads and Chromebooks, Borg said.

The district’s long-range technology planning committee—a group of teachers, principals and district-level administrators—met over the summer, Borg said. The committee agreed on the necessity of the program for third- through eighth-grade students.

“[The committee believes] grades three through five are capable of being in this 1-1 environment,” she said. “The elementary [school] principals and teachers were adamant we needed to begin early.”

By Matt Stephens
Matt Stephens joined Community Impact Newspaper in December 2012. A Tomball native and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Matt joined as a reporter for The Woodlands team before being promoted to help launch the Spring | Klein edition in spring of 2014 and later to North Houston managing editor in late 2015. He has served as managing editor to the Phoenix and Nashville papers since August 2020.