Fort Worth ISD buys computers, hotspots for at-home instruction

A 1980s-era desktop computer

The Fort Worth Independent School District Board of Education approved the purchase of computers and internet hotspots to enable students who need them at-home instruction.

At its scheduled online meeting on Tuesday, April 14, the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education ratified the emergency purchase of thousands of Chromebook computers as well as the purchase of thousands of internet hotspots.

The 3,160 Chromebooks are urgently needed to provide elementary school families with at least one device per household to support instruction, according to the Fort Worth ISD.

“Access to a device is critical for support of the District’s Learning at Home initiative during the mandated state and county Covid-19 school closure,” said Jerry Moore, FWISD’s Chief Academic Officer.

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The computer purchase will cost $1.2 million. When schools reopen these devices will support a one-to-one device implementation for fifth-grade students. Lincolnshire, Illinois-based CDW-G and Phoenix-based Trox received the contract for the new computers.

The Board also approved a measure to spend nearly $1.3 million for the immediate purchase of 6,000 hotspots to give families internet connectivity to support instruction.  The hotspots will provide each household with a 3GB mobile plan and access to the District’s learning network. The hotspots were purchased from AT&T Mobility.

Moore acknowledged the generosity and commitment of several individuals and community organizations in helping the District defer the cost of these needed items.

As was the case in the Board’s meeting on March 31, trustees convened in an online “virtual” meeting to conduct the District’s business.