County School Districts Awarded Remote Learning Grants
Some money from the state will help to fill the gaps as school districts here in the Berkshires and across the state are working to meet their students' technology needs in preparation for a remote opening to the schools this fall.
That need is being filled through grant money from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The department announced on Thursday that $32.9 million in remote learning technology grants had been awarded to 253 districts across the state.
Among the grant recipients, the City of Pittsfield is receiving just shy of $645,000. Kristen Behnke, assistant superintendent for business and finance for Pittsfield Public Schools told the Berkshire Eagle that the grant money will be used to purchase Chromebooks, as well as Wi-Fi or cell service packages, for students who don't have access to technology at home.
Behnke told the publication that the district had been encouraged to apply for its full need. She further said that while the city received about three-fourths of the $859,200 it had requested; it will go through other mechanisms to make sure it provides the 1,200 Chromebooks it has committed to supply.
Besides Pittsfield, the other school systems receiving the grant money are as follows:
• $5,618 to the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School
• $29,336 to the Berkshire Hills School District
• $38,499 to the Central Berkshire School District
• $27,560 to the Lee School District
• $16,519 to the Lenox School District
• $61,293 to the North Adams School District