BEF Impact Grant to Launch 1:1 Student Device Program

The future is now for students and teachers in the Bexley City Schools. Thanks to a $250,000 Impact Grant from the Bexley Education Foundation, the Bexley City School District will be able to enter into a purchase plan so that all Bexley students in grades 2-12 will start the 2020-2021 school year with a Chromebook and K-1 students will have access to an iPad issued by the School District.

BEF Board Chair Betsy Farrar, noted that this investment of donor dollars comes at a critical time as the School District is grappling with state budget cuts and the uncertainty of how instruction will be delivered in the upcoming school year. “Our Board reviewed the request from the School District to support the acceleration of a 1:1 student device program in terms of the goals set forth in the School District’s Strategic Plan and Technology Plan, and based upon that information, decided to award this Impact Grant as a necessary first step before seeking additional financial community support for the program,” said Farrar. 

The 1:1 student device program addresses the technology needs and gaps that were identified during the School District’s strategic planning process in Spring 2018 and the technology planning process conducted in early 2019. When school buildings were closed to students in March and instruction shifted to distance learning, the technology gaps became even more obvious.  At that time, the School District was able to loan out 128 devices it had purchased during the summer of 2019 using permanent improvement funds, and provide internet-enabled devices, thanks to BEF support, to students who had connectivity issues.  

In addition to supporting distance learning, each student having his/her own device promotes innovative and engaging learning through blended instruction focusing on creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration while ensuring equity and access. District-owned devices will be equipped with appropriate content filters and security, and ensure a consistent platform for all students so that access is not a barrier to learning. 

Bexley City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Kimberly Pietsch Miller noted that “devices are a critical learning tool that promote innovative and engaging learning through blended instruction focusing on creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration. The District estimates that the total cost of the 1:1 student device program, purchasing 2,355 devices (iPads for students in grades K-1 and Chromebooks for students in grades 2-12), will be approximately $960,000 to $1,100,000 over the next three years. A Request for Proposals (RFP) for the purchase of Chromebooks was issued by the School District on May 19. The District is planning to supply K-1 students with recently purchased iPads. 

With a long-standing history of funding technology in the Bexley Schools, BEF is proud to partner with the Bexley City Schools at this transformational moment in the School District’s history. For more information about the 1:1 student device program, please see the Technology Plan posted on the Bexley City Schools website or contact Mr. Brad Pettit, Director of Technology. To learn more about the role you can play in supporting 21st century learning in the Bexley City Schools, please contact BEF Executive Director, Pam Glasgow at pamela.glasgow@bexley.us