In this photo (left to right): Pitman High School students Anna Bogardus, Stephen Devanney and Riley Sharpnack gather in the library to work independently using their Chromebooks. (Photo provided)
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The Pitman Public School District announces the receipt of federal funds in the amount of $176,130 made possible through the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF).
The funds allowed for a recent purchase of 570 Chromebooks to ensure all Pitman students in grades 1 through 12 have access to their own device for in-person or virtual instruction. Kindergarten students have the use of district-issued iPads.
In a technology survey distributed to families last July, the district learned that many devices were operating slowly, and in some cases did not support the needs of the students while they were working at home.
In addition, the district survey indicated that 64% of respondents did not have enough devices to support 1:1 remote instruction.
With the addition of the newly acquired devices, all students have their own Chromebooks to complete their schoolwork at home or in their respective school buildings by the start of winter break.
With the insight gained from the technology survey, Howie Galowitz, Supervisor of Technology, Data, and Assessment, applied for the Emergency Connectivity Fund grant in August 2021 with the intention of upgrading the district’s technology inventory.
In late September, the district was awarded the federal funds which allowed for the purchase and deployment of 570 new devices.
“With the additional Chromebooks purchased with the ECF funds, we’re able to provide more students with reliable access to technology in our schools and at home. We appreciate Mr. Galowitz’s efforts in securing the funds allowing us to acquire the devices,” stated Dr. Patrick McAleer, superintendent of Pitman Public School District.
The FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) is a $7.17 billion program that helps schools and libraries provide the tools and services their communities need for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period.
ECF provides relief to millions of students, school staff, and library patrons and will help close the Homework Gap for students who currently lack necessary internet access or the devices they need to connect to classrooms.
About Pitman Schools
Pitman Public School District, located in Gloucester County, is a public school district serving more than 1,200 students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.