One of the greatest lessons learned during the closure of our school buildings in March of 2020, was the importance of having take-home digital devices for all students. To facilitate digital learning, the district distributed over 26,000 laptops and tablets to students who did not have their own computer, and also distributed Wi-Fi hotspots to students without access to the internet.
In order to bridge that divide, the Pinellas County School Board took swift action to develop PCS Connects, a one-to-one device initiative, that will be funded in part by CARES Act federal funding. The initiative will launch in September 2020.
For the 2020-21 school year, PCS Connects will provide laptop computers to all students in grades four through nine. Additional grades will be added in subsequent years. These devices may be taken home or left at school each day.
The use of digital devices will be integrated into the instructional day for content delivery, research, creativity, innovation and collaboration. This initiative will also allow for a deeper partnership between families, students and teachers, as parents will have daily access to instruction and enrichment materials for their student.
Additional grades will be added in subsequent years, until all grade-levels have been issued their one-to-one device.