Lacking devices, Donna ISD plans $5.7M investment in tech

DONNA — The Donna school district has announced plans to invest almost $6 million this year to fund technology devices for students, teachers and other employees.

According to a news release from the district, the $5.7 million will provide iPads and Chromebooks for all students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Students in second grade and below will receive iPads while third graders and up will get Chromebooks.

The laptops for faculty have already begun distribution a couple weeks ago, yet the school district is still waiting on remaining Chromebooks to arrive, the statement read.

The decision to invest in the technology was made after the coronavirus pandemic forced the district’s curriculum online.

“Because of these circumstances and not knowing when we will go back to normal, our district had to plan for virtual learning to continue from home. With that in mind, we found it necessary to use funding set aside for upcoming projects and redirect it towards expanding our technological resources,” the statement read.

Donna school officials said some students and teachers struggle with working from home because of technical difficulties, noting they “too often” hear of students and teachers having difficulty working from home due to a lack of technology devices or internet services.

“But, we are working hard to change that by investing in this technology,” officials said in the statement.

The school district will also be looking into methods in which to provide free Wi-Fi access within their area.

According to the release, $852,395 of the $5.7 million will fund laptops for teachers, $2,981,110 for Chromebooks and $1,926,470 for iPads.