Meeting Tahoma's technology needs

Meeting Tahoma's technology needs
Posted on 08/06/2020
This message was sent to Tahoma families and staff members on Aug. 6:

Dear Tahoma Community,

Many families and staff have asked us how the district will meet technology needs this fall -- both from a device perspective and also from a need to help students and families effectively use our online platforms and programs. I am excited to share information on both of those pieces with you today.

Thanks to the resources provided by the Technology Levy voters approved in February, we were able to distribute thousands of computers to families in the spring. Before school begins, we’ll be checking out additional devices to those families who still need computers for their students to participate in remote learning this fall. And because students need stable internet access in order to complete their online learning, we will also provide hotspots for families without internet access. Stay tuned for more information on both programs.

As you already know, this spring’s emergency remote learning required our staff to quickly adapt to using new programs, applications and platforms. To help ensure that they are better prepared to start this year remotely, teachers and staff will complete a variety of professional development trainings before school and then will continue completing ongoing trainings to hone their skills during the school year. In fact, in just a couple of weeks, we will be welcoming Caitlyn Tucker, a leading national expert, for a training focused on a powerful virtual teaching method called blended learning.

Along similar lines, it will be critical that students, parents/guardians and caregivers who will be supporting our students during the day know how to use our platforms and programs before we begin the new online learning experience so we’re also designing specific trainings to help them successfully begin online learning too.

As you can see, we are intentionally building many layers of technology support. I’d like to ask you to help by taking a moment to participate in a statewide survey from the Washington State Broadband Office and state Public Works Board, which have launched a mapping initiative to identify gaps in high-speed internet service and areas of broadband infrastructure needs. Please click here to complete the survey.

Although this is the last email in our 4 part series, I am excited that we are exploring having a back to school town hall.

In case you missed my other updates from this past week, click on the topic to catch up:

July 30 message on online learning plans
July 31 childcare update
August 3 letter about Special Education

With Tahoma Pride,

Mike Hanson
Superintendent
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