In order to ensure that classroom needs are met across all Katy ISD campuses, minimum standards for software and equipment have been defined. The standards include items such as computers, laptops, tablets, projectors, interactive whiteboards, and other devices. Software standards for applications, online subscriptions and online tools are also defined. These standards are established for elementary, junior high and high school classrooms based on grade level and subject area needs. By defining the software and equipment that teachers can expect to have in their classrooms, it becomes easier to infuse technology into the core curriculum and ensure that all students, regardless of which Katy ISD campus they attend, have equitable access to technology. Through the access teachers and students have, and the identification of equipment and software tools that are appropriate, Katy ISD students are able to use a wide variety of collaborative tools within both technology-specific classes and lessons and within the structure of their core curricula classes. Teachers receive training and ongoing support for standard equipment and software tools. Katy ISD operates on a six-year rotation for campus technology equipment retrofit.
In recent years, the district began piloting sound amplification systems in elementary classrooms to increase the ability of students to hear and understand their teachers. Teachers wear a wireless microphone with the freedom to walk around the classroom and the individual classroom speaker system delivers a clean, crisp sound for students. We currently have 16 campuses with sound amplification systems in classrooms. This initiative began as a Title One funded program and has now been incorporated in the classroom technology standards so that all new campuses will have them installed.
Katy ISD Establishes Technology Equity Continuation Project
Katy ISD Technology Equity Continuation Project provides funding for additional student devices to campuses experiencing high student growth. The student to device ratio is calculated for all campuses by dividing the student enrollment by the number of student devices (desktop, laptop, netbook and tablets). The number of devices currently available for each campus is identified using data from district inventory. Campuses with a ratio of 2.5 or greater are identified as those needing additional equipment to bring the ratio closer to or lower than the district goal of a 2.5 student to device ration. Principals select the type of devices best suited for the instructional goals of their campus. Devices are ordered and delivered to the selected campuses in the fall semester.