“No child will be left offline," Director of Instructional Technology Darlene Rankin said in the release. "Our goal is to ensure our students have access to technology in order to learn virtually. Prior to the pandemic, the district was already transitioning to equipping our campuses and their libraries with technology devices for digital learning. Those devices, along with new purchases, are now being provided to students who have a technology need in their home.”
As of Aug. 17, the district had received over 25,000 device requests from families, according to the release. When campuses closed in March due to coronavirus, KISD distributed over 12,000 devices. The district's technology department will offer free and reduced internet options as well as technology support and orientations for parents throughout the school year.
In addition to technology, KISD is providing curbside grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to all students beginning the first day of school Aug. 19 through Sept. 4 at 23 distribution sites from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., according to an Aug. 18 press release.
“For the 2020-21 school year, the program will look a little different from the summer meal distribution,” said Donna Pittenger, executive director of nutrition and food service, in the release. “Even though students are learning virtually, it is the district’s goal to ensure that they are eating a nutritious meal and staying healthy.”
Students can pick up their meals at the distribution site that is the most convenient and will be charged according to their eligibility. A full-price breakfast will be $1.25, while full-price elementary and secondary lunches will be $2.25 and $2.75, respectively. Students who qualify for reduced lunch prices will see $0.30 deducted from their breakfast costs and $0.40 deducted from their lunch costs.
All KISD students will engage in virtual learning for the first three weeks of the 2020-21 school year, and nearly 43,000 students will remain in virtual instruction starting Sept. 8 through the Katy Virtual Academy.