Covid Grant Brings Technology Windfall

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA Act) provides $2.75 billion for the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) program, which is part of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. –

Sheri Jarecki did a lot of paperwork and made many calls to complete the EANS grant approval and ordering of all equipment. With her hard work, Holy Family had access to $60,000 for technology upgrades.

Darci Lindgren surveyed staff and chose equipment to be used by everyone at school.  Device order process began in May. Some devices were delivered in August, and most items have been received. It had been hoped the orders would be completed over the summer, but now she has resorted to unpacking, inventorying, and deploying devices while school is in session, evenings, and weekends. All equipment ordered with the grant funds have a sticker stating, “Property of Nebraska Department of Education, EANS Funds CFDA #84.425R.”

Wireless access points and switches that were out of date were replaced. That improved the security of our entire network. Next, student devices were updated.  First and second graders got new ipads, and grades 7-12 received new heavy-duty chromebooks. Many chose to also have a wireless mouse. Old student devices turned in were cleaned up, updated, sorted, and re-deployed. Grades 3-6 have matching devices in each classroom. We are now officially a 1:1 school, and all devices that could no longer update or had issues are being recycled. Some will be taken apart by students in the breaker space section of our maker space.

Classroom updates are still waiting for some equipment. Once received most classrooms will have new, brighter projectors, teacher use windows laptop, lighted document cameras, USB hubs, blue ray DVD payers, and Bluetooth speakers. Teachers who requested them will receive new SMART interactive boards, external monitors, wireless keyboards and mice, laser printers, apple pencils, Wacom tablets, and presentation remotes. Miss Miller and Mrs. Trautman have new Logitech group video conference equipment and big screen TV’s in a DL cart since they are teaching classes both here and for St. Francis at the same time.

The office will have new desktop computers when they come in. Basically the windfall of new technology has been a practice in digging through paperwork, wishful thinking, patient waiting, hectic reordering when things went on back order, and finally grateful implementation.  Holy Family will have very up to date and secure technology when it is all done.