This fall, Cypress-Fairbanks (TX) Independent School District is particularly excited about welcoming back 150 of our underserved elementary, middle, and high school students after they’ve enjoyed their first full summer of district-sponsored Wi-Fi. This group of students is the first to benefit from iConnect, a new program that extends our district’s enterprise network infrastructure with safe and secure learning systems into eligible communities.
For our pilot, we delivered remote wireless connectivity and computing devices to families at the Nayeli House Tanner Road Mobile Home Park in our Houston metro district. What’s more, we’ll soon be expanding iConnect to communities served by four more schools within our footprint. Here are the steps we recommend for getting a similar initiative done in your district.
Step 1: Reframe your mission to meet access needs at home
Although we passed a significant technology bond in 2014 that enables providing students with computing devices at school, which included a total overhaul of our network infrastructure, by 2015 we realized a significant percentage of our students had no internet access at home. This meant we were falling short of our district’s mission—to maximize every student’s potential by providing opportunity for all—because so many of our students lacked the connectivity vital for after-hours learning and collaboration. Taking this perspective, we launched a three-year effort to close the opportunity gap by finding a way to bring access to their homes.…Read More