|We are excited for school to start online this Tuesday, Sept. 8.
We want to remind you that for the first four weeks, instruction will be on-line with your child’s teacher. Remember our teachers and staff are here to support you in every way possible. Families can learn more about our plans for the new year in this unprecedented time at our newly updated Open for Learning Plan at https://www.austinisd.org/openforlearning.
Student Chromebooks and Internet Access
We are currently in the process of acquiring and preparing 24,000 iPads for students in Pre-K through second grade. We have also obtained 10,000 WiFi hotspots for families who do not have access to the Internet.
Students in Need of Technology
To get this technology to families who need it, we have created an Austin ISD Cloud Technology Distribution tile for both staff and families. Through this tile in the Parent Cloud, families will be able to submit device requests and monitor status.
Families who are not able to use the Parent Cloud can contact their campus, and campus staff can log the family’s request in the Austin ISD Staff Cloud.
We encourage families to provide this information as soon as possible so that students can receive technology support as soon as it becomes available.
To use this system, families need to set up their Parent Cloud accounts. Families can ask their school office staff to send a “FastPass” email to the primary email address on file, or they can click on the “Parent Cloud Account Creation” button at my.austinisd.org. Families can also contact the Parent Support line for assistance at 512-414-9187, Option 6.
While we continue to work toward every student having access to a device and the Internet, we will continue to provide an alternative to online learning for students without access. This will include the delivery of instructional packets and/or instructional resources with an assignment list for each week of remote instruction.
Technical Recommendations for Families Who Want to Use Their Own Technology
Austin ISD expects to have a sufficient inventory of Chromebooks and iPads to offer one to every student who needs one for remote learning. Here are some guidelines for families who would prefer to use their own technology, instead.
Students in Grades Pre-K3 Through Second Grade
There are compelling reasons for families of students in grades Pre-K3 through second grade to use the Austin ISD iPad available for their student. District iPads contain software that allows teachers to manage the apps and settings their students see, making it easier for them to participate in remote learning. Families of students in grades PreK to 2 can still choose to use their own iPads, but families should be confident in their ability to help the student download, use, and update the apps they will need for remote learning.
Students in Grades 3-12
“BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device) is a better option for remote learning for students in grades 3-12. Austin ISD teachers at those grade levels design remote learning experiences with Chromebooks in mind. Chromebooks use web-based tools through the Chrome web browser, and very little software that must be downloaded and run on the computer. If students use the Chrome browser and log in through the Austin ISD Portal, they should have a similar learning experience on most computers.
Important Considerations for Students in All Grades
Austin ISD devices have extra layers of security and Internet filtering, designed to keep students safe while they are online. Also, Austin ISD is not able to provide tech support for technology that is not supplied by the district. Families who choose to use their own devices should be prepared to solve technical problems and keep software updated.
Technical Recommendations for Students in Grades Pre-K3 through Second Grade
All Austin ISD students will be offered the iPad described on the Apple website. Please review those specifications when making the right choice for your family.
Technical Recommendations for Students in Grades 3-12
Austin ISD Expands Wi-Fi Bus Service Times
Austin ISD will continue to use Wi-Fi-enabled buses to provide free internet access to students. Beginning Sept. 8 until October 5, Austin ISD has expanded the times its Wi-Fi buses are available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
AISD is strategically positioning these buses at apartments and neighborhoods where they can make the biggest impact. AISD students can access free Wi-Fi on their school devices. For the most current locations and times please see the Austin ISD School Bus Wi-FI Map available on the austinisd.org website
Free Produce Boxes at Select Curbside Locations
AISD will continue to provide free, local Farm Fresh Boxes from The Common Market Texas through Oct. 7. The boxes feature a variety of Texas-grown vegetables and are available at no cost to families with children under the age of 19. Children may accept the boxes, or they will be provided to the adults accompanying children or with documentation of the children they are picking meals up for. Boxes are available until they run out.
Distribution will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m as follows:
The Farm Fresh Box program at AISD is made possible through support from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.