Clear Creek ISD seeks federal funding to replace $6.4 million worth of laptops for 2021-22

Clear Creek ISD technology officials identified a need to replace 14,000 devices for the 2021-22 school year as part of the district’s obsolescence device replacement for students. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Clear Creek ISD technology officials identified a need to replace 14,000 devices for the 2021-22 school year as part of the district’s obsolescence device replacement for students. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Clear Creek ISD technology officials identified a need to replace 14,000 devices for the 2021-22 school year as part of the district’s obsolescence device replacement for students. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Clear Creek ISD will soon begin the process of replacing more than 10,000 student laptops, contingent on availability of federal funds, as part of the district’s device replacement program.

While CCISD ordinarily requests replacements in the spring, a worldwide technology shortage has caused a delay of at least six months in receiving laptops, district staff said during discussions at a Sept. 27 board of trustees meeting.

“They’re not really available in a timely manner right now,” the district’s Chief Technology Officer Dustin Harden said during the meeting.

Technology officials identified a need to replace 14,000 devices for the 2021-22 school year as part of the district’s obsolescence device replacement for students, per board meeting documents. Of the 14,000 devices, 4,000 were scheduled to be ordered in late spring to replace five year old laptops in fall of 2022; the other 10,000 were scheduled to be ordered in late spring and would replace five-year-old laptops in the fall of 2023.

The cost is $413.73 per device, plus $619,080 for cases, tagging and other services, for a total of about $6.4 million. Trustees on Sept. 27 approved a one-time purchase for the laptops using capital funding, with requested reimbursement from two federal sources: Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds and Emergency Connectivity Funds from the Federal Communications Commission.


The funds, if received, would cover the entire cost of laptop replacement, per board documents. District officials are unsure when they will be notified about ECF funding; if ECF funds are not available, the district will return to the board with a revised plan that tackles fewer replaced devices at once, district leaders said.

“We wanted to get ahead of other districts that were thinking about replacing their devices,” said Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Robert Bayard, who was the district’s chief technology officer until this academic year.

The FCC’s $7.1 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund, part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, helps schools and libraries provide tools and services for the remote learning needs of communities during COVID-19. The program is meant to cover reasonable costs of laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers and broadband connectivity purchases for off-campus use, per board documents.

CCISD submitted an application for ECF funding during the filing window, which opened in June and closed mid-August, per board documents. The district can request up to $400 per device for reimbursement, and ESSER funding can allot reimbursements over the $400 threshold.

Devices purchased with federal funds must be distributed prior to June 30, per board documents. Under this plan, the next replacement would be in spring 2024 instead of spring 2023, district officials said Sept. 27.

“I’m really impressed at this plan of action and how much better of shape it leaves CCISD in than so many other peer districts,” trustee Jeff Larson said during the meeting. “I really appreciate the great work.”
By Colleen Ferguson

Reporter, Bay Area

A native central New Yorker, Colleen worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact Newspaper before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. She covers public education, higher education, business and development news in southeast Houston. Colleen graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she worked for the university's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Her degrees are in journalism and Spanish language and culture. When not chasing a story, Colleen can be found petting cats and dogs, listening to podcasts, swimming or watching true crime documentaries.


<

MOST RECENT

Graphic by James Inglish/Community Impact Newspaper
Looking inward: Clear Creek ISD uses equity audit findings for student success

Auditors concluded there are unclear definitions around equity in CCISD; economic need has an influence on end-of-year exam performance; and the diversity of CCISD’s student population is not being represented in staff, among other findings. These results are just one piece of the puzzle, district officials emphasized, when it comes to how they approach serving students’ academic, social and emotional needs.

The first-ever Williamson County Fair and Rodeo opens its gates to guests Oct. 21 with live music, carnival rides, food vendors, rodeo events and more. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo underway; delivery drones coming to Friso and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 22.

The home-style seafood restaurant is inspired by New Orleans cuisine and offers seafood boils, featuring crab, lobster, shrimp, crawfish, clams and mussels. (Courtesy Crafty Crab)
IMPACTS ROUNDUP: Crafty Crab coming soon to League City and more

Here is a roundup of business-related news from around Clear Lake and League City.

From left: Laura Ryan, Eliza Paul and Craig Raborn discuss the future of the Texas Department of Transportation. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Department of Transportation discusses I-45 expansion, vehicle fatalities at annual event

The Texas Department of Transportation held its fifth annual State of TxDOT event Oct. 21 to discuss the I-45 expansion, plans for the future and safety issues facing Texans.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but the intent is to build a smaller tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes biking tower for ‘gravity riding’; Perky Beans Cafe now open in Leander, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 20.

Heather Lagrone, Adrienne Holloway, Luis Guajardo, Maya Ford and Charleen Jones sit onstage while Holloway introduces the audience to the Harris County Housing Needs Assessment study on Oct. 19. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kinder Institute housing survey results reveal Harris County's needs

To meet the need for additional, more affordable housing for only 20% of the 500,000 cost-burdened residents, 8,174 housing units would need to be added annually through 2031, according to the study.

The superintendent's target, as approved by the board, is to have 90% of student exclusions fall within district parameters, which are aligned with Texas Education Agency and Texas Department of State Health Services guidelines. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD approves 2021-22 superintendent targets, including COVID-19 exclusion audit

Clear Creek ISD trustees approved a number of 2021-22 targets for Superintendent Eric Williams during an Oct. 11 board of trustees workshop, including one regarding ongoing audits of COVID-19-related exclusions.

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Read the latest top news about restaurants, businesses and other commercial projects that are coming soon or now open

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 19.

Mountain bikers and the city are working together to create a short course near Lynn Gripon Park at Countryside. Here, a couple of those bikers test out the course. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
League City, mountain bikers work to create off-road trails

After months of communication, League City officials and residents who are passionate about mountain biking are now working in tandem to create and expand bike courses citywide.