Pasadena ISD and Commissioner Garcia host surprise laptop distribution for teachers

Pasadena ISD and Commissioner Garcia host surprise laptop distribution for teachers
Posted on 04/15/2021
Pasadena ISD and Commissioner Garcia host surprise laptop distribution for teachers

Pasadena ISD, along with Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, recently hosted a surprise laptop distribution day for teachers at San Jacinto Intermediate School. 

The laptops were distributed to the faculty members as part of two government programs. One program, Operation Connectivity (OC), will provide 10,000 laptops and other digital devices to students in Pasadena ISD. Another program, administered by the Texas Education Agency, will provide reimbursement funding to eligible school districts for technology-related purchases made during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pasadena ISD joined school districts across the state in taking advantage of both opportunities. The district ordered 10,500 laptops for upwards of $1.2 million through Operation Connectivity, and was required to cover 50 percent of the cost.

“With the board’s support, everything that we needed, we received. Our board provided computers, technology, wifi for our students,” said San Jacinto Intermediate principal Diane Phelan. “Our students and our teachers never went one single day without the equipment that they needed. We are very appreciative of that.” 

In order to provide support to school districts during the COVID-19 pandemic, Harris County invested over $622,000 (25 percent) of the total cost of the laptop devices and the state agreed to pay the remaining 75 percent of the cost. Pasadena ISD was subsequently reimbursed by TEA for 100 percent of the funds previously paid ($1,244,250), effectively reducing their cost for the 10,500 laptops down to zero.

“We say thank you to Commissioner Garcia and Harris County for being our partners,” said Pasadena ISD Superintendent Dr. DeeAnn Powell. “This was a great time of need, so those devices have helped our students and their families get what they need to make sure they stay connected with our schools.”

Additionally, Harris County partnered with Pasadena ISD to provide 5,000 laptops and 5,000 MiFis for the district, through the county’s “Project 10 Million” program. Harris County also partnered with T-Mobile to provide Internet connectivity for Pasadena ISD families. The program will provide Internet hotspots with five years of unlimited data to students so they can continue online instruction at home. 

“The children in our community are 86 percent economically disadvantaged and they didn’t have the access to the technology,” said Associate Superintendent Gloria Gallegos.  “Thanks to〔Harris County’s〕efforts and support, our children are connected.”