With school going remote across the district, technology is essential for the success of students this year. The district was struggling to provide all the technology needed but recently the District 308 Board of Education approved entering a lease agreement that will provide Chromebooks for all students in grades 5-12. Because of the pandemic, the distribution and delivery of the new devices was delayed until November. Thankfully, through a generous partnership, the East Aurora School District 131 has agreed to loan SD308 devices for students while remote learning continues.
While distributing devices to families the district started running low and the technology department realized they were going to need more technology than they could provide.
When the technology department brought the issue up to Dr. John Sparlin, the SD308 superintendent, said, “‘let me make a few phone calls,’” and the superintendent for East Aurora took the call and was able to help.
He also added, “I think it really comes from the great collaboration that I, as your superintendent, have with other local superintendents in the area. We’re all in the same business and that is to ensure that all students are successful.”
Dr. Sparlin made a few phone calls, one being Dr. Jennifer Norrell, the superintendent of the East Aurora school district. He told her the problem and she decided that she could help out our district.
“It was almost as simple as that,” Dr. Sparlin said.
The East Aurora district had gone to 1:1 technology in the past and they had devices that were 3-4 years old that they weren’t using. Dr. Sparlin and Dr. Norrell connected their two technology directors and they made it happen.
“It was just a perfect example of local school districts working together to help each other out,” Dr. Sparlin said.
It’s also a possibility that without the loaned devices from East Aurora that the remote experience for some families and students would not have been as successful because multiple students would have to share one device and might have to be in class at the same time.
“I think it’s important that all students have a device so that siblings in the same household don’t have to share devices because we know there’s many times they have to be online at the same time,” Dr. Sparlin said. “If we were to run out of devices and not be able to provide an individual device to each one of our students who needed one that wouldn’t have been as positive as it was.”
The district has also made a purchase of devices so that SD 308 will be going 1:1 with technology for grade 5-12. When the purchase was made it was expected the devices would be in and East Aurora School District 131 gave technology to SD308 distributed in October, but because of COVID-19, it got pushed to November. Once those devices come in, the devices loaned by East Aurora will be collected and returned, and all the secondary students will be issued their new devices from the district.
“A big thank you to East Aurora, the superintendent,and the board of education out there for helping 308 out,” Dr. Sparlin said.